Saturday, July 21, 2012

Apricot Raspberry Jam

While I've always loved apricot jam, this was my first attempt at making it in my own kitchen. Many recipes call for dried apricots, which are rehydrated prior to making the jam.  With dried apricots, you can make this jam no matter the season, but I went ahead and used fresh apricots and was very happy with the results. I came across a big box of them at the market and figured I'd make a small batch of jam before they're gone. 

When I was looking up recipes for apricot raspberry jams, I felt like the ratio of raspberries to apricots was far too much. In my opinion, a little bit of raspberries goes a long way, and I didn't want to overpower the delicate apricot flavor. I've added just a cup in this recipe, which gives a pronounced flavor without overwhelming the entire jam.

The best part is, you don't even have to peel the apricots, like you would peaches. Their skins are extremely thin and delicate and dissolve during cooking. If you prefer a seedless jam, simply run the cup of raspberries through a blender or food processor and strain the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Stir the puree with the chopped apricots and proceed with the recipe. I don't really mind the seeds, as I feel they give a rustic, homey feel to a jam, but to each his own. Either way, a lovely jam to wake up to in the morning alongside a cup of joe, or as a glaze for a fruit tart. 

Adapted from Ellie Top & Margaret Howard, The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving

3 cups roughly chopped ripe apricots, unpeeled and pitted (About 1¼ lbs. apricots)
1 cup raspberries
3 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place a small plate in the freezer to test the jam later on.

In a large bowl, stir together the apricots, raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.

Transfer the apricot mixture to a medium stainless steel pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium and gently boil, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the jam begins to gel (approximately 220 degrees F), stirring frequently. To see that the jam has jelled properly, remove the pot from the heat and retrieve the plate from the freezer. Place a dollop of jam on the plate and return it to the freezer for a couple of minutes. Run your finger through the jam and if it wrinkles slightly, it's done (if it's still runny, return the pot to the heat and continue checking every few minutes in the same manner). 

Ladle the jam into hot, clean jars, leaving a headspace of ¼ inch. Wipe rims and apply lids and rings. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water-bath canner (for 4 oz. jelly jars or 8 oz. half pint jars). Turn off heat and let jars sit in canner for 3 to 5 minutes before removing. Allow jars to rest on a dishtowel undisturbed for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Check seals, label, and store in a cool dark place for up to a year. If any jars did not seal properly, place them in the fridge and use first. For more information, see my step-by-step guide to canning here.

Yield: 3½ cups

  • If you prefer plain apricot jam, simply leave out the raspberries and continue with the recipe as written.

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