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apricot jam 300x221 Small batch Apricot JamMaking jam doesn’t have to take over your kitchen and fill the day. Using 1.5 lb  fruit, put up a quick few jars. Start to finish, this takes less than an hour.

Here’s how to make a small batch when you’re pressed for time or just want less. See the larger version here.

Apricot Jam makes about 4 8-oz jars

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh apricots
  • 3 c sugar
  • 3 Tbsp (about 40 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp (about 40 ml)  Marillenlikor or dry apricot brandy (OPTIONAL, see note below)
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter

Rinse the apricots (of course). Pit and quarter the fruit; don’t bother peeling. Put in a non-reactive pot (I use this 4-qt one) with the lemon juice and apricot brandy (if using). Add the sugar, stir gently, and let stand about 10 minutes, while you 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 apricot 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.

Note: This is like sunshine in a jar. The alcohol in the brandy is boiled away during the cooking, leaving only intense flavor behind. I use Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur, or, when I’ve been abroad, Bailoni Gold Marillenlikor, and no others.