I Heart Jam

Anyone who knows me pretty well knows that I have a deep love for jam. I'm the girl who brought a jam (peanut butter-less) sandwich to school everyday. In a way, it's like eating candy, but not feeling too bad about it because it's between two pieces of wheat bread.
It's kind of a ritual that every time I visit a whole foods market, I buy a jar of (almost) fresh jam. Now, I finally experiences (completely) fresh jam, due to an abundance of apricots given to me to experiment with. I have three simple things to say about my first batch of jam:

  1. I finally own mason jars
  2. The making + canning is actually a very easy process (with the right tools)
  3. YUM (I would marry this jam)
Now, because I'm a cheap-o, meaning I made a pectin-free jam, but no need to worry because it set just fine. In addition to being a cheap-o, I'm forgetful and came back from the store without lemons, which would normally be an ingredient in jam (acidity helps the jam gel), but I did have oranges on hand, so I squeezed one and used orange juice in place of lemon, it all worked out.

Pectin-Free Apricot Jam
8 cups diced ripe apricots 
3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. butter

 1. The nice thing about apricots, is that due to their thin skin, they don't need to be peeled. However, they do have a seed in the center that needs to be removed before starting.

2. Sanitize jars and lids/seals either in a dishwasher or in boiling water for 10 minutes. After sanitizing, place them in a wide, tall pot of boiling water (if not in already) to keep the glass hot (so the hot jam doesn't shatter the glass).
 3. Dice apricots (the best you can, mine were VERY ripe, so they kinda squished a little, but it's no big deal if they do because, after all, that's your goal.
4. Place all ingredients into a tall, large saucepan over medium high heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to boil.

5. Allow the mixture to boil over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring often (every 3 minutes) to prevent the bottom from burning. To prevent spoilage, skim the foam that forms on the top. The 1 tsp of butter is said to reduce the amount of foam created. 
6. Remove jars from the boiling water using jar tongs and use a funnel to fill the jars leaving 1/4 of the head space. 
7. Cover the jars and place back into the pot of boiling water for 10 minutes to help seal and preserve the jars. When 10 minutes is up, remove from the water using jar tongs and let cool. 

 8. Loosen the outer seal on the jars to prevent rust from forming due to the moisture
9.Allow jam to set overnight and enjoy on a piece of toast in the morning!

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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall