Last week, my friend Sim gave me some excess apricots from the tree in her backyard. Thanks Sim!
I put them to good use that night. They were very sweet and juicy, however some of the fruit had split because of all the rain we have had but it was the perfect thing for making jam.
My recipe was simple. 450g of de-stoned apricots, 1 and a quarter cups of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of Jamsetta (pectin). Into the bread-maker with all ingredients, and set to "Jam" and press start. An hour later this is what we ended up with. It makes two jars, even thought only one is pictured.
Now, Kim was not a huge fan of apricot jam, but once she tasted my jam, she was hooked. It went well with crusty home baked wholemeal bread as a treat for supper.
I also have a confession, because not everything went according to plan first time around. It was about 10 minutes into the bread-maker cycle that I realised that I had forgotten to put the little stirrer attachment at the bottom of the pan. I only realised this when I smelt an unusual odour coming from the bread-maker. No harm was done, and I just tipped the ingredients from the pan into a bowl, gave the pan a quick wash, put the attachment in place and filled up the pan again with the mixture. Then I thought I had broken the bread-maker because I kept getting an error on the display when I tried to restart the cycle. Thank goodness the error codes where in the manual, and I worked out that the bread-maker has to cool down before you can start another cycle. Once it was cool, there were no more glitches. Thankfully the jam did not burn, and tasted great when finally cooked.
Jam is so easy to make in the bread-maker. I have never tried making jam on the stove, so maybe one of my readers could post a quick recipe in a comment. I am sure that those without a bread-maker would appreciate the gesture.
Jam on the stove is pretty easy…although a little more time consuming since you have to give it the odd stir (OK quite a lot of stirring).
The way Sim and I made apricot jam on the stove: 1kg of de-stoned apricots, 1kg of preserving sugar (which has pectin added), the juice of 1 lemon and 300ml of water.
Pour the lemon juice over the apricots and cover til you need them. Heat up 300ml of water and add the sugar. Bring to the boil slowly and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let it boil rapidly for about 3 or 4 minutes and then add the apricots and lemon juice.
Bring back to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Then boil rapidly for 20 – 25 minutes or until its ready to set.
And the setting point is the tricky bit. There’s a couple of ways you can do it. The easiest way is using a thermometer. The jam is ready to put in jars when the temperature gets to 105 degrees celcius. If you don’t have a thermometer you can scoop a small amount onto a plate, let it cool for a couple minutes and then run your finger through…if it wrinkles, then it’s ready.
When the jam is at the right temperature, take it off the stove and let it cool for a minute or two. Scoop any froth that’s formed off the top and then pour into sterilised jars. We got about 4 or 5 jars from 1 kg of apricots.
It probably takes about an hour and a half to make this way (even taking into account pitting the apricots) so it’s not too time consuming and the end product is definately worth it.
bayside gardener says
Be on the lookout in op shops or secondhand book stores for a copy of “Cookery the Australian Way”. It was a text book used in home economic classes in the 70’s and 80’s. Explains jam making perfectly. Can’t wait for eggplants to come down in price as I’m dying to try your pickle recipe!!!
p.s. Your home made Christmas crackers reminded me of an episode in “The Good Life”. I made them one year when the boys were little and they still talk about them, as they were the only crackers in melb. that contained lindt balls!!!
The BEST neighbour says
I reckon I have that cooking book somewhere! I might lend it to you….
-Your favourite neighbour Danni!
Sharon J says
I haven’t tried jam in my breadmaker yet but once the fruit season arrives again, I shall be giving it a whirl. I’m already saving jars for it. Your apricot jam looks gorgeous (as does the bread)!
Mmmmmm home made bread and home made apricot jam that takes me back a few years Thanks Gav and have a great Christmas day with your family ELLIE