Sweet apricot jam....an orchard to table recipe.
Orchard to table....
there is nothing more rewarding than putting up jars of sweet apricot jam to enjoy throughout the winter.
We have a simple recipe that makes the best P & J sandwich or toast spread when you have that occasional sweet tooth. Once you get a taste of this jam, you'll be dreaming about it on a crispy English muffin when you awake in the morning. This recipe has a bit more lemon juice than most and the challenge is to practice with that elusive "jell point" without reaching for a box of pectin. The right combination of sugar, temperature and the fruits own natural pectin, is enough to create a nice spreadable jam. There are a few ways to test if the fruit is ready to set. One is use a candy thermometer and the other is the cold plate method. We carry several books in our Sun & Cricket store that offer great tips from the experts. Remember to use fruit that is ripe and unbruised, but not too ripe. Overly ripe fruit has a lower pectin level, which is critical for setting. The fruit we use comes from the orchard at our Sugar Hill Farm, gathered just before the crows start to eye it as "ripe for the picking". If you don't have an apricot tree in your own backyard, they are in season now and available at most farmers markets.
9 cups of diced apricots (pitted, but with skins)
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
6 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon of butter (this will help to reduce the foam)
- You will need 8- 10 clean/ sterilized half-pint jars.
- Bring the fruit, butter and lemon juice to a simmer until fruit starts to soften, then to a slow boil.
- Turn up the heat and add sugar. Gently stir until it completely dissolves.
- Bring the fruit to a steady rolling, but not riotous boil. Cook for about 20 minutes stirring as needed. Skim off any foam that forms.
- The water in the fruit needs to dissipate and the mixture needs to reach a temperature of 220 f in order to set.
- The fruit should start to really thicken. Follow the jell point guidelines from a book such as "The Little River Cottage Preserves Handbook"
- Remove from heat, pour into jars, wipe rims clean and then put on lids and rings. Rings should only be finger tight before processing.
- Process in water bath for 10 minutes.