Thursday, May 26, 2016

Apricot Orange Jam

Two days after my "red canning" day, apricots went on sale at Sprouts for 88¢ a pound.  I'm not a huge apricot person, but that has more to do with not liking fuzzy-skinned fruit than the taste itself.  I picked up slightly over two pounds.  Half were turned into apricot butter, which used the same process as pear butter (except I added extra lemon juice for shelf-stable processing), and the other half were for jam.

I got the recipe from the Ball Book of Preserving, -ish.  It's a cross between the old-fashioned apricot jam and the apricot-orange conserve.  I didn't want to put nuts in it, but I did want to use an orange off the tree.  They've been up there a long time and are on the verge of spoiling.  I did appreciate that both recipes were based on volume yield of fruit, rather than trying to estimate pitted weight.  It made it a lot easier to do the math on how many jars I would need.  I still managed to come up with one less jar than I expected, but a pound of fruit should make a pint or so of jam.

Papa Smurf loved apricot jam.  He would buy the big Costco jar for breakfast toast.  I didn't like it as much, but I loved how pretty it was.  The apricot bits looked like bright candy in a golden syrup.  That was what I was after, and was not disappointed.  This batch of jam gelled faster than I expected and had that lovely clarity to it.  It also only needed one skimming, mainly for the orange.

2 C peeled, seeded, and chopped apricots (about 1 lb)
1-1/2 C sugar
2 tsp orange zest
*1/2 C orange juice
2 Tb lemon juice

1.  To prepare apricots, boil a pot of water.  Place whole, washed apricots in pot for one minute.  You'll see the skins start to bubble.  Remove fruit to an ice water bath to stop the cooking.  At this point, the skins should come off relatively easily.  Cut fruit in half, remove pit, and chop into small pieces.

2.  Place all ingredients in a medium skillet at least 2" deep.  Heat over medium and stir until combined.  Bring to a boil and continue to cook until gel point is achieved, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Test set with a chilled spoon.
3.  If canning, process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Or just cool to room temperature before transferring to a container for refrigeration or freezing.  Lasts in the fridge about 2 weeks.

Makes about 1 pint

Difficulty rating :)

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