Preserves

Apricot Twist Jam


 Prep Time : 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 30 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Jam

Hello my lovelies! It’s jam season. I won’t shut up about it. Sorry not sorry. Apricot is my all time favourite jam. Today we are putting a zesty citrus twist on it. Sunshine in a jar. Apricots can be very sweet when cooked and need a bit of acid to perk them up. Oranges and lemons will do the trick. It will also help the jam to set because pectin loves acid. Right now fruit markets are full of apricots in NZ. Carefully choose firm ripe fruit that isn’t too hard. I know choosing a good apricot is a bit of a mission. I have a friend who insists that apricots are firmly in the category of better cooked than fresh. On the whole is this is probably true because the chances of getting a delicious fresh apricot can be low even though a good one is simply magnificent. And they’re always good in jam. If your apricots are a bit hard let them ripen for a few days before cooking them. I will have a recipe or two coming your way to help use up some of your jammy bounty so stay tuned. Or you can just make some pikelets… In the meantime let’s get this show on the road.

Thoroughly was and rinse your jam jars and place them in a 120C (250F) oven to sterilise. Put a couple of small plates into the freezer.

Wash and pit the apricots and trim off any bad bits. You will need to weigh out 1 kilo of trimmed apricots.

Chop them roughly and pop them into a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the orange and lemon zests and juices.

Heat the fruit on low until it breaks down and starts to cook.

Cook the apricots, stirring from time to time until they are your preferred amount of mushy. How long this takes will depend on how soft the apricots were when you started. I err on the side of smooth rather than chunky for jam so I let it go a little longer. The fruit will not soften any further once the sugar is in so make sure it’s as smushy as you want. You can encourage it to break down by crushing pieces with your wooden spoon.

When the fruit is pulpy add the sugars. We are using a bit of pectin added sugar for this recipe because the amount of pectin in apricots can vary depending on how ripe they are and it’s good to have a bit of insurance. Leave the heat on low and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Turn the heat up to medium high until the mixture is boiling. It will foam a bit to begin with but it will subside. I would usually put a candy thermometer on the side of the pot but because apricots can catch more easily I don’t want any bits of fruit getting trapped under the thermometer and burning. For this jam I keep track of the temperature with a digital thermometer instead. Stir this jam more often than you normally would to prevent it from catching and burning on the bottom.

The jam is thick and will splatter a bit so make sure you are wearing long sleeves. And something on your feet. Trust me. Cook the jam until it reaches 104.5C or passes the wrinkle test.

I like to track the temperature and then use the wrinkle test as my decision making test. Drop a small amount of jam onto one of your cold plates and put it back in the freezer for a few minutes. Push your finger through it and see if the surface wrinkles. If it does then it’s ready. In this pic I am holding the dish vertically and the jam isn’t moving anywhere either.

Turn off the heat. Get your jars out and put them on a folded tea towel. Don’t put them straight onto a cold bench as they could crack or damage the surface. Put the lids in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them.

Use a pyrex jug to fill the jars with jam.

Wipe the rims of the jars with a paper towel dipped in hot water. It’s important that there is no jam on the rims or in the thread of the jar or the jars may not seal properly.

Drain the lids and seal the jars. Leave the jars to cool before labelling and storing.

IF YOUR JAM CATCHES in the pan you can save it. You will notice when you stir that dark flecks are appearing in the jam and you may be able to smell it. As soon as you see this stop stirring and take the pan off the heat. Carefully pour the jam off into a clean pan. Watch it carefully and stop before any burnt bits end up in the new pan. You will lose a little of the jam but most of it will be fine. Start boiling again and test for a set as per the recipe.

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Apricot Twist Jam


Prep Time : 20 mins | Cook Time : 30 mins | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Jam | Makes : approx. 4-5 cups

Description.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo trimmed, pitted apricots
  • Juice of a lemon (at least 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Juice of an orange (approx 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 250 grams pectin added jam sugar
  • 500 grams white sugar

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Large heavy bottomed saucepan
  • Kitchen scale
  • 4-6 x 1 cup jam or preserving jars with lids
  • Thermometer (optional but recommended)

Directions:

Thoroughly was and rinse your jam jars and place them in a 120C (250F) oven to sterilise. Put a couple of small plates into the freezer.

Wash and pit the apricots and trim off any bad bits. You will need to weigh out 1 kilo of trimmed apricots.

Chop them roughly and pop them into a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the orange and lemon zests and juices.

Heat the fruit on low until it breaks down and starts to cook.

Cook the apricots, stirring from time to time until they are your preferred amount of mushy. How long this takes will depend on how soft the apricots were when you started. I err on the side of smooth rather than chunky for jam so I let it go a little longer. The fruit will not soften any further once the sugar is in so make sure it’s as smushy as you want. You can encourage it to break down by crushing pieces with your wooden spoon.

When the fruit is pulpy add the sugars. We are using a bit of pectin added sugar for this recipe because the amount of pectin in apricots can vary depending on how ripe they are and it’s good to have a bit of insurance. Leave the heat on low and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Turn the heat up to medium high until the mixture is boiling.It will foam a bit to begin with but it will subside. I would usually put a candy thermometer on the side of the pot but because apricots can catch more easily I don’t want any bits of fruit getting trapped under the thermometer and burning. For this jam I keep track of the temperature with a digital thermometer instead. Stir this jam more often than you normally would to prevent it from catching and burning on the bottom.

The jam is thick and will splatter a bit so make sure you are wearing long sleeves. And something on your feet. Trust me. Cook the jam until it reaches 104.5C or passes the wrinkle test. I like to track the temperature and then use the wrinkle test as my decision making test. Drop a small amount of jam onto one of your cold plates and put it back in the freezer for a few minutes. Push your finger through it and see if the surface wrinkles. If it does then it’s ready. In this pic I am holding the dish vertically and the jam isn’t moving anywhere either.

Turn off the heat. Get your jars out and put them on a folded tea towel. Don’t put them straight onto a cold bench as they could crack or damage the surface. Put the lids in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them.

Use a pyrex jug to fill the jars with jam.

Wipe the rims of the jars with a paper towel dipped in hot water. It’s important that there is no jam on the rims or in the thread of the jar or the jars may not seal properly.

Drain the lids and seal the jars. Leave the jars to cool before labelling and storing.

IF YOUR JAM CATCHES in the pan you can save it. You will notice when you stir that dark flecks are appearing in the jam and you may be able to smell it. As soon as you see this stop stirring and take the pan off the heat. Carefully pour the jam off into a clean pan. Watch it carefully and stop before any burnt bits end up in the new pan. You will lose a little of the jam but most of it will be fine. Start boiling again and test for a set as per the recipe.

Cook’s Notes:

  • xx
  • Apricots are prone to catching because of the structure of the fruit and how thick the pulp becomes – watch it carefully and stir it more often while boiling.

 – If sealed in sterilised jars this jam will last for up to a year on the pantry shelf. Refrigerate after opening – 

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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