The summer is here, and it's time to start making jam for this winter. I really love making apricot jam, because apricots are inexpensive right now and they are easy to prepare for a nice jam batch.
Follow these steps to discover the recipe and to know some of my tips....!
Step 1: Ingredients
Ok, you just need apricots and sugar, and a little slice of butter. In my case, I will prepare jam with 3 kg of apricots. It's the limit of my pan...!
About the hardware, you will need :
- a pressure cooker, or a large pan, for baking
- a large bowl to prepare the apricots
- a scale
- jam jars
- a hand blender
- wax, to close the jars
Step 2: Prepare the Apricots
Put the apricots down the sink and wash them.
With a knife, open them, remove the kernel, cut again the apricots in two, and put them into a large bowl (on the scale.)
Fill the bowl completely, until you have 1 kg of apricots. Empty the bowl into the (large) cooking pan.
Keep going to have two more kg of apricots. My cooking pan can't handle more, that's why I put only 3 kg of apricots.
Step 3: Add the Sugar
For my jam, my recipe is 70% of sugar.
As I have 3 kg of fruits, I have to add 2.1 kg of sugar.
In the bowl, put 1 kg of sugar, pour it on the fruits, and finish with the last 1.1 kg of sugar (my bowl can't handle 2.1 kg of sugar in one time...!).
Shake the pan to let the sugar flows between the fruits. Add the last bowl of sugar, and try to cover all the fruits.
Put the lid on the pan, and forget it in a dark room for one day.
Step 4: Baking !
Ok, after one night, the apricots made some juice. The jam is ready for baking !
Put the pan on the gas, start baking with a strong fire.
Add half a glass of water on the sugar.
Immediately start mixing the preparation. The sugar should completely melt in the apricots juices. Make sure that nothing is stuck on the bottom of the pan.
I use a large wooden spoon to mix the jam. A stainless steel one will be hot quickly. No problems with the wood !
Keep mixing as the preparation heats...
Step 5: Boiling
You have to wait until the first boiling appear. In my case, it took about 15 minutes.
Once it starts boiling, reduce the fire a bit. Just check that the boiling doesn't stop.
Start a 20 minutes timer. Keep mixing the jam with the wooden spoon. It's quite boring, but it will make sure that the jam will have the good texture.
Some white "foam" will appears on the jam. In some recipes, they tell you to remove it with a small spoon. In my case, just add a bit of butter in the jam (about one tablespoon). The foam will disappear !
Keep mixing for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare some jars. Clean them carefully.
Step 6: Finishing
Ok, the 20 minutes are done. Turn off the heat, and let the jam cool down for a couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, set up your hand blender. The jam still contains big apricots parts, and I don't really like them. So, once the jam is a little bit cooler, use the hand blender to smooth the texture a bit. Of course, you can really keep the jam like this. It's very personal, I just don't like big slices of apricots on my toasts...!
Start filling the jars with a small ladle. If you have very small jars, you can use a special jam funnel. Fill them until about one centimetre under the top.Watch out, make sure that the jars are at room temperature or above. I usually clean them with hot water to make sure that they are a bit hot. A cold jar can explode with the jam heat, so watch out.
Let them cool at room temperature. Watch out, they become VERY HOT after a couple of minutes, as the glass conducts the heat. Let them cool for one or two hours.
Once the pan is empty, the best part (before doing the dishes :-( ) is to lick the pan !! Get some bread or your fingers and reward yourself with a nice tasting session.
Step 7: Closing the Jars
You can of course use any other closing system, but here is mine :
- in a tin can, melt some cooking wax. Don't overload the can. Just put the wax for 3 or 4 jars.
- once the wax is melt, carefully pour it on the jars. Pour a layer of wax of about 1 centimetre.
- let the wax cool. Don't move the jar ! It took a couple of minutes to cool down and to solidify.
To finish, I always use some plastic protections squares (it's special for jam).
- get a square, humidify it with a sponge.
- put the square on the jam jar, (wet side on top) and put a rubber around it.
- finish by putting a small label, with the year and the fruit.
And that's all ! The jam can last for months.
To store them, I usually put them into a dark cabinet, in my cellar.
The apricot jam is my favourite ! What is your favourite one ?
Thanks for reading !