It’s been raining here a bit off late and I’ve been wondering what to do with my time since I don’t like the idea of getting out there and ruining my pretty shoes. To be honest I haven’t stepped out of the house in 3 days. And considering you are speaking of me, that is a LIFETIME!
So I cleaned up my cupboards, arranged my clothes in pretty little stacks, fixed my broken fridge magnets, packed for my trip to South Africa next week, played so many games online that my eyes hurt, downloaded and watched 6 movies, planted some corn n coriander in my backyard and maybe a few more unmentionable things but I still had plenty of time on hand. Did I also mention I drove my poor maid crazy? Well I did to amazing results. She looked through the whole house to find me something to do and came up with a bag of dried apricots a friend got me from Kashmir a few weeks ago.
My mum likes to stew em up in sugary syrup but I’m kinda trying to lose weight. Its winter in South Africa and I feel cold when the temperature reaches 24 degrees (C). So you can well imagine what all 60 kilos of my petit frame would look like in layered woolens. Dried apricot jam for mum it was.
I looked online and stumbled upon this website http://www.foodinjars.com which had a dried apricot jam recipe by Yvonne Tremblay. Unfortunately I had to cut all the measurements in half seeing as I didn’t have enough apricots.
I also added ¼ tsp of dried rosemary. I love the aroma and flavor of it when added in subtle measures.
I’m sorry I didn’t take the step-by-step pics that everyone is so obsessed with these days. I just dint think this would make it to the blog. However, I will try and give you less than vague directions.
This is the color you’re looking for. Just got it off the heat for this pic.
Now time for the recipe.
Makes approx 400g – 450g (depending on the consistency you like)
- 1 cup of chopped dried apricots
- 2 ¾ cups of water, divided
- 1 ¾ cups of sugar (I suggest you put in 1 cup and then adjust it to your taste, my mum just likes everything sweet)
- ¼ – ½ tsp dried rosemary
- Juice of ½ lemon
The original recipe has the option of adding liqueur or peach brandy if you’d like. I didn’t have any at home so I just skipped it
- Place the chopped dried apricots in a large bowl with half the water and ¼ tsp of rosemary. Cover and let stand for approx 12 hours (until soft and plump).
- Transfer the soaked apricots with liquid et all into a blender and whiz it up a bit if you’d like. You can completely skip this step if you like the chunky variety.
- Transfer the puree/soaked apricots and liquid into a heavy bottomed pot (a non-stick sauce pan works just fine with me). Add the remaining water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 20 – 30 minutes or until apricots are softened. (now would be a good time to add the extra rosemary if you’d like)
- Add the sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly. (don’t forget to taste and add more as and when your taste buds feel the need)
- Turn the heat up to high and bring it to a boil (all the while stirring). Reduce heat to medium high and cook until the liquid has reduced and jam has become quite thick and sticky.
- Once it passes the plate test, it’s done.
For those of you who’re new, you might want to read up on the plate test before you attempt jam making at all
And then you follow the drill of bottling. Funneling jam into sterilized jars leaving a headspace of ¼ inch. Wiping rims, applying lids and rings and processing in the boiling water bath canner for a good 10 minutes. (Be sure not to crack your jars, I’d hate to see all that effort go to waste)
Don’t forget to check the seals on your jars once they’re cool enough to handle. Any unsealed jars should go right into the refrigerator. The others can be store for up to a year if kept in a cool, dark corner.