Apricot Jam

My lovely friend Fiona told me she likes to go and buy a really good loaf of bread from Banneton at Ashgrove, slice it up, store it in the freezer and ration it for her lunch.  Just for her!  What a lovely treat!  So I have been doing the same.  At the moment I have been buying a multigrain sourdough packed with lots of seeds and nuts.  I’ll toast a slice for breakfast to have with a cup of tea.

I have been craving some thick apricot conserve to have on my morning toast.  After flicking through the latest Good Taste magazine I decided to give their Traditional Apricot Jam recipe a go.  Jam making is not something I’m experienced at.  I have only ever made one other recipe but it was so good I’ve made it 4 times in total.  So this is my second jam recipe and it was very straight forward.  Just make sure you have a piece of muslin cloth, unwaxed white kitchen string and some really good bread ready to toast.

apricot jam

(from Australian Good Taste magazine February 2011)

1 lemon
900g (4 cups) white sugar
1 kg firm ripe apricots, seeds removed and cut into 1.5cm pieces
250ml (1 cup) water

Peel the rind from the lemon.  Half the lemon and juice.  Reserve the seeds and pop them on a piece of muslin cloth along with the rind and tie with unwaxed white kitchen string to enclose.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.  Place the sugar in a baking dish and bake for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  This is just to warm the sugar.

In a large saucepan place the muslin pouch, apricot, water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Put saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil.  Simmer, stirring ocassionally, for 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and soft. Then reduce to a simmer.

Add the warm sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.  If sugar is up the side of the pan then dip a pastry brush in water and brush down the sides.

Increase heat to medium and cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until set.  Stir occassionally and skim off any skum off the surface with a slotted spoon.

To test if jam is set, place a saucer in the freezer before starting the jam.  Then spoon on some jam and return to freezer for 2 minutes.  Then run a finger through the jam and if it is set the jam will wrinkle.

Wash a few jars in hot soapy water and rinse well.  Dry in a low oven.  Once I had removed the warmed sugar I placed the jars upside down on a rack in the oven and lowered the oven to about 110 degrees.  I pulled them out once the jam was done.

Ladle the hot jam through a funnel into the jars.  Screw the lid on tight then turn upside down for a few minutes.  Leave to cool then label.

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