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Jam with Tea 300x220 Small batch Cherry Apricot JamWhen you have a bit of fruit that you can’t use right away, don’t let it spoil: make it into a little batch of jam. From start to finish this took me less than an hour.  Makes 3 to 4 8-oz jars.

Cherry Apricot Jam 

  • 1 lb apricots (this was 5 apricots)
  • 3/4 lb cherries (I used dark sweet ones)
  • 2 1/4 c sugar
  • 4 Tbsp (about 40 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp unsalted butter

Rinse the fruit (of course). Pit and quarter the apricots but don’t bother peeling them. Pit the cherries and cut them in half. Put both in a non-reactive pot (I use this 4-qt one) with the lemon juice and sugar. Combine gently, and let stand while you start to get the jars ready.

Speedy processing hint: start your big pot of water to boil NOW. Put empty jars in the water, let it come to a boil, and boil for at least 10 minutes to sterilize the jars. When that’s done, take the jars out, and upend them on a folded towel.  By the time the jars are ready, the jam will be ready to put in them.

While the empty jars are coming to a boil, cook the jam: add the butter (it reduces foaming), and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat somewhat and simmer it  until the chunks of fruit are thoroughly cooked. Blitz the preserves with an immersion blender – this will create a uniform texture, and will help the jam cook faster.

Bring the preserves to the boil again, stirring often, and cook until it passes a jelly test. (see How to make jam for information on the jelly test). In my kitchen today, it took about 10 minutes more. Remove from heat. Ladle into clean jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Seal and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool jars, label, and store in a dark cool place.