While I was packing tonight for an unexpected trip, I remembered I had bought peaches to make jam this weekend. They surely weren't going to go to waste! In less that an hour, the time it took to throw some clothes in the suitcase, this jam was ready and sitting in the counter waiting to cool. It is almost midnight now and before I turn in I will stick the jars in the refrigerator to be enjoyed later in the year. That's how easy this recipe is!
I really encourage you to buy some peaches (Georgia or South Carolina are really the best) and apricots this weekend and try this out. It will probably be the last time you can get them before we start getting ready for the Fall bounty. You will be so glad you did come winter.
I probably won't be posting again until after Labor Day so keep cool and I will see you in September.
About six 1 cup (250ml) jars
Below you will find the recipe I used including some of David Leibowitz commentary. The photos are his too, I definitely didn't have time for that!
I should note that I like my jam on the tart side. The amount of sugar shown is based on how much apricot puree I got from this particular batch of apricots. Because fruit doesn’t grow in standardized quantities, my general rule is to use three-quarters of the amount of sugar per one-part apricot puree. So if you use more, or less, apricots, simply use for each cup of puree, by volume, three-quarters cup of sugar. David Leibowitz
Apricots become quite tangy once cooked, so you’ll find this is not very sweet. I don’t recommend using less sugar, since it may not jell correctly. A bit of lemon juice added at the end provides additional balance, and Europeans often crack a few apricot kernels open and add one to each jar before pouring in the jam, which isn’t meant to be eaten, but gives the jam a subtle, bitter almond-like flavor.
2 pounds (1kg) fresh apricots
1/2 cup (125ml) water
6 cups (1kg) sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
optional: 1 tablespoon kirsch
1. Cut the apricots in half and extract the pits. If you wish, crack a few open and put a kernel in each jam jar you plan to fill.
2. Place the apricots in a very large stockpot, and add the water. Cover the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until the apricots are tender and cooked through.
3. Put a small plate in the freezer.
4. Add the sugar to the apricots and cook, uncovered, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. As the mixture thickens and reduces, stir frequently to make sure the jam isn’t burning on the bottom.
5. When the jam looks thick and is looks slightly-jelled, turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on the chilled plate. Put back in the freezer for a few minutes, then do the nudge test: If the jam mounds and wrinkles (as shown in the photo), it’s done. If not, continue to cook, then re-test the jam until it reaches that consistency.
(You can use a candy thermometer if you wish. The finished jam will be about 220ºF, 104ºC.)
6. Once done, stir in the lemon juice and kirsch, if using, and ladle the jam into clean jars. Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, refrigerate until ready to use.
Storage: I find this jam will keep up to one year if refrigerated. If you wish to can it for long-term preservation, you can refer to the USDA Canning Guidelines for techniques.
From David Leibowitz