Apricot Jam




Summer in the hills is enchanting. From early summer to late summer, the orchards are the center of activity. Late spring is the time when Plum, Peach, and Apricot trees are in profuse bloom. The bees and butterflies are buzzing and moving from tree to tree collecting nectar and in the process pollinating the flowers. A lot of wildflowers grow all over the hills that also attract bees. It is nature’s way of accomplishing pollination. Some small birds flitting through the branches also play a role in pollination.


This year we had riotous fruition of Apricots. We have three varieties of apricots that ripen at different time. 


The best fruits are the ones that ripen naturally on the tree. Every morning, it’s a ritual to walk to the orchard, shake the branches to get the ripe fruits off the tree. And,  there is a shower of fruits on the dew-laden grass. 


Since there is an excess of fruit, we send some to our friends, eat to our heart's content and love to preserve some by making Jam.


Apricot jam is delicious. It has a unique taste. It is relished even more when the fruit season is over.
The quantity of sugar according to the general rule is three fourth cup for every cup of fruit puree. This is important because if you use less sugar, it may not jell properly.
Crack open a few apricot kernels and add one to each jar before pouring in the jam. This gives the jam a bitter and subtle almond-like flavor.


Apricot Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 kg fresh apricots
  • Water (just enough to cover the fruit)
  • Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


Instructions

  1. Wash the apricots.
  2. Cut into two. Remove the pits. Crack open some kernels and put one in each jam jar you plan to fill.
  3. Place apricots in a thick bottom pan. Add water just enough to cover the fruit. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium heat stirring frequently until the apricots are tender and cooked. Turn off the heat.
  4. Mash the apricots with a fork.
  5. Measure the puree. For one cup of puree, take three fourth cup of sugar (use the cup of the same volume for measuring sugar).
  6. Keep a plate in the freezer.
  7. Cook on medium flame without the lid. Keep stirring in between.
  8. In the later stages, the jam will thicken and reduce. Stir continuously to avoid burning at the bottom.
  9. When the jam looks thick and falls from the ladle in blobs, turn off the heat.
  10. Put a small amount of jam on the chilled plate. Put it back in the freezer for 5 minutes. Push the jam back with your index finger. If it wrinkles and collects, it is done. Or else, cook for some more time until you get this consistency.
  11. Add lemon juice. Mix well.
  12. While the jam is cooling, sterilize the washed bottles.
  13. Place the washed and dried bottles with the lids in the oven. Set the temperature to 100 degrees and set the timer to 10 minutes. Remove the bottles and their lids from the oven.
  14. Fill the jam in the warm
    sterilized bottles while the jam is hot.
  15. Leave the bottle to cool. Keep in a cool dry place. Refrigerate after opening.






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