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Friday, 6 July 2012

Fresh Apricot Jam

Mmmmm I love Apricots and have always been upset not to have any tree's. That is until two weeks ago, when I realised my diseased Nectarine tree was in fact an Apricot tree, it just hadn't produced fruit past small green things!
This year the tree is laden with bright orange blushed Apricots, how happy was I when I realised!
Yesterday I went down the back of our property to check on the plums, and  behold there are two more Apricot tree's there too! These I thought were diseased Pear tree's, as they were amongst other pear tree's, and had not produced any fruit,  we are talking 5 summers now!
Mmmmmm, eaten straight from the tree warm from the sun they are marvelous but made into a scrummy juicy preserve they are amazing.
So the first thing to do was to make preserve, this is so easy anyone can do it right off the cuff.
You can fiddle around with how you make it;
If you cut the Apricots small you will get jam, just boil longer,
Skins on or off, 
Halved or quartered,
Blanched or not.
Here is my way........
2kilo Apricots
2 Kilo Sugar, or 1 1/2 kg for reduced sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
10 + kernals
1/4 Pint water

Place a saucer in the freezer.
For Apricots with perfect skin, keep the skin on.  Blanche the Apricots that have pitted or imperfect skins in boiling water for aprox 2 mins then plunge into cold or ice water. Then remove the skin.
Cut into halves/quarters aprox half and half.
I do all this on a plate or bowl so I can use all the juice after this stage has been completed.
Crack some of the pips and use the kernels. Put the kernels in a piece of thin cloth or muslin and tie.
Melt a knob of butter in the bottom of a large stock pan, I use enamel, this is so it won't stick to the bottom of the pan when boiling (I got the idea from some TV program and it works!)
Put the Apricots in then the lemon juice sugar and water. Heat slowly stirring till the sugar has all melted then bring to a rolling boil, add the bag of kernals and boil for 20-30 mins. Test for setting consistency by spooning a little on the frozen saucer, then every 5 mins till it sets how you would like.
I like mine quite runny for preserve as I then use it for topping cheesecakes and putting in cakes as well as on bread and butter

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