We have planted apricot trees which are suitable for the UK climate, but are still young and haven't produced any fruit.
However, at this time of year (June/July), fresh apricots are relatively cheap, and readily available in the shops. Although out of season (for the UK) and imported, I justified buying a small quantity to make Apricot Jam.
If anyone else wants to have ago, here's the recipe.
- 1 Kg of fresh apricots, halved, stalks and stones removed
- 1 Kg of granulated sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon or 30ml (2 tbsp) of lemon juice
- 250ml of water
- 1 knob butter (optional, but helps prevent foaming)
- 4 to 5 medium sized Jam Jars with new lids
- Large pan or Preserving/ Jam pan
- Small plate
- Place a couple of small plates in the fridge and give sufficient time to cool before starting the jam making;
- Wash the jam jars in warm soapy water, rinse and along with the lids, place in a warm oven at about 80 degrees centigrade.
How to make the Apricot Jam
- Put the prepared apricots (halved and stoned), water and lemon juice into a large stainless steel pan (preferably a jam or preserving pan if you have one).
- Cook over a gentle heat slowly until the apricots are soft.
- Take off the heat, and stir in all the sugar until it is dissolved.
- Return to the heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring so that the contents of the pan does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Gently boil until the contents looks thicker and begins to jellify on the back of a cold spoon.
- To test if the jam is set, put a tea spoon of the jam onto the very cold plate and leave to cool for a minute. When cool enough push it with your finger. If the contents on the plate wrinkles, the jam is ready and will set. You should also be able to tip the plate and the contents not run off. If it stays, runny, boil the pan for a few more minutes and then repeat the test.
- Once it passes the test, leave the jam in the pan to cool for 10 minutes.
- Using a large spoon take off any scum on the surface.
- Put the contents of the pan into the jars while it is still warm. We find using a ladle makes this job easier. Fill the jars to the top leaving a small air space.
- While the jars and contents are still hot, screw on the lids.
- As the jars are cooling give the lid of each jar a slight turn to make sure that the lids are on tightly.
- Any jam left and not enough to fill a jar, place in a tub and put in the fridge and eat this first!
We find that the Jam lasts indefinitely, however, I think the standard wording/ guidance should be 'Eat within 3 months' and 'Keep refrigerated after opening'.