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Apricot Jam Experiments

July 26, 2010

Apricots ready for jamming

The recipe for this jam was based on the fruit:sugar ratios discussed on Saving the Season.  With some simple math, Jane and I were able to figure out an exact recipe for the 3 lbs, 1 oz. worth of apricots that we got at the Sunnyside Farmer’s Market.   Working with a 3:2 fruit:sugar by volume, or a 5:4 fruit:sugar by weight, we found that the two are interchangeable, so if you only have one means of measuring, you should be fine.  Apricots have two delightful features that make for an easy jam project: they don’t need to be peeled and they are easy to pit!

Twins!

Jane and I chopped up the apricots- 3 lbs, 1 oz whole yielded 2 lbs, 13 oz. pitted, or 8 cups.  We divided the batch into two small enamel containers so that we could do mini-batches and try out some new flavors.  According to the fruit:sugar ratios listed above, the total batch called for 5-1/3 cup or 2-1/4 lbs. sugar, which was divided between the two pots.  Each pot also got 1/4 of a lemon’s worth of juice and zest, and was let to sit for about 5 hours (while pickling and other activities ensued).  Letting the fruit sit with the sugar helped to pull out the fruit juice and sped up the cooking time, yielding a fresher-tasting jam.

Stirring up a storm!

One of the pots got the insides of a vanilla bean, which smelled great and added pretty flecks to the jam.  The small batches also sped up cooking time, although it also required some synchronized stirring.  We brought the jam to a boil, and stirred until it was thick enough to pass the freezer plate test (about 10 minutes).  Processed in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, the total batch yielded 7 x 8oz jars and 1 x 4 oz. jar.  Did I mention that I am a huge fan of always throwing in a 4 oz jar to be at the ready, as batches rarely work out to fill exactly full 8 oz. jars?

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