Thursday, August 21, 2014

apricot jam.

Currently there are 4 different types of homemade jam in our fridge (rhubarb, cherry, peach-jalapeno, and apricot) and I am scared to know how many jars of purchased jam (if I had to throw a number out there I would say 3 but who can say with any degree of certainty).

I guess we like jam?  

Jam is one of those things I kind of love to make for a couple of reasons.

1 - When you tell people you made jam then give you a head tilt and a look of confusion because no one who lives in a city with at least 4 bodegas within a 2 block radius should be making something that can be purchased so easily but I like to challenge myself.  

2 - It makes me feel like Laura Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie.  She is my idol.  

3 - Homemade jam is infinitely better then what you can buy in the store. INFINITELY.  

The flavor of the summer is apricot because the farmers market I pass on the way to work has been selling a pound of apricots for $3 and that my friends is a steal.  Apricot jam is also the bee's knees because it pairs incredibly well with savory items (I am partial to eating it with turkey and brie) as well as sweet (like toast aka my favorite food).  I dialed back the sugar on the original recipe by a great deal because I enjoy a little bit of tart (apricots as they cook down get very tart!) and a little bit of sweet.  It allows the flavor of the fruit to really shine and isn't that the whole point of jam?

Apricot Jam
Recipe adapted from the Homesick Texan

1 pound of apricots, pits removed and quartered (4 cups)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
4 tablespoons of lemon juice (about one lemon) plus zest

Place the apricots, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a pot, and add a couple of tablespoons of water.

Place a plate into the freezer.

Turn the heat to medium, and stirring every five minutes or so, let the fruit cook. It will first get juicy with the fruit intact, and then the fruit will start to disintegrate. As it cooks, there will be foam on top, but just keep stirring, don’t worry about skimming it.

After about 15 - 20 minutes the jam will be about two or three shades darker and will be smooth and thick, with a few lumps here and there. When it coats the back of a spoon, take out the plate from the freezer and place a dollop of the jam on the plate. If it runs, cook it for five more minutes and then test it again. But if becomes solid, then the jam is done.

Store jam in the fridge.  Will keep for about a month if not longer.  

Makes about one pint.

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