While I’ve been away for quite a while, I do come with gifts. Most importantly, every single one of you should check out Sugar and Spice. This is the blog of my cousin, Marissa, centered around gluten-free meals and desserts she makes her son, Mason, who has celiac disease. Every recipe is amazing, even for those not gluten-free. Her recipes for tres leches cake and lemon meringue tart look especially delicious to me!
This summer I was lucky enough to travel for two weeks around Europe by car, visiting countries like France and Italy. Of course, just about everything we ate was delicious. I tasted the best pizza and gelato I had ever had within two days of each other. The trip was a foodie’s dream. Throughout my next couple of posts, I will try and share a few photos of some of the food we ate and sights we saw, an effort to spread inspiration and belly-yearning.
When I got home, peaches were juicy and apricots were tender; stone fruit season had arrived. Hopefully, summer fruits are still available to you so that you can enjoy this absolutely amazing jam. This was my first try at making homemade jam, and I was surprised how easy it was. The day I made it, I woke up around 8 AM and was eating the finished jam on toast by 8:40 AM. Pretty convenient, right? We had so much of it that I thought it would last longer, but it was gone within a week. I realize that the jam has a lot of sugar in it, but I actually tried a second batch with less sugar and, in addition to being much less sweet, did not come together to the same consistency. This is because the sugar acts not only as a sweetener but also a thickener and preserver. Jams with less sugar also do not last as long. Use the jam on toast, ice cream, yogurt, sandwiches, or anything else you can think of!
Adapted from David Lebovitz
- 2 1/4 pounds (1kg) fresh apricots
- 1/4 cup (60ml) water
- 3 cups (600g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- optional: 1 teaspoon kirsch
1. Cut the apricots in quarters and extract the pits. If you wish, crack a few open and put a kernel in each jam jar you plan to fill.
2. Place the apricots in a stockpot or Dutch oven, and add the water. Cover the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until the apricots are tender and cooked through.
3. Put a small plate in the freezer.
4. Add the sugar to the apricots and cook, uncovered, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. As the mixture thickens and reduces, stir frequently to make sure the jam isn’t burning on the bottom.
5. When the jam looks thick and is looks slightly-jelled, turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on the chilled plate. Put back in the freezer for a few minutes, then do the nudge test: If the jam mounds and wrinkles (as shown in the photo), it’s done. If not, continue to cook, then re-test the jam until it reaches that consistency.
(You can use a candy thermometer if you wish. The finished jam will be about 220ºF, 104ºC.)
6. Once done, stir in the lemon juice and kirsch, if using, and ladle the jam into clean jars. Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, refrigerate until ready to use.
Storage: I find this jam will keep up to one year if refrigerated. If you wish to can it for long-term preservation, you can refer to the USDA Canning Guidelines for techniques.