Posts Tagged ‘Provence Style apricot and nectarine jam’

prov jam 022a

This is the very best jam Pete makes, bar none.  If any of our friends are reading and wondering why they’ve never tried this – it’s because it never leaves the house.  Pete and I wolf it down as fast as he can make it.

It is a jam with complex layers of flavours, best served thickly spread as it has less sugar than most preserves, thereby letting the fruit flavours shine through.   Whilst it’s really only worth making when the fruit is at its very best, this year we vacuum-sealed and froze nectarines and apricots when they were at their peak, which has allowed us to make a mid-year batch to see us through winter.

Here is Pete’s original recipe, and yes, I know it says one-sixteenth of a teaspoon of Herbie’s Mixed Spice.  I’ve raised this point with him, but he is adamant that any more than that will be too much, but leaving it out altogether would be detrimental to the finished jam.  I leave it to your discretion whether or not you deem it worth the effort!

  • 1kg apricots
  • 1kg nectarines (big, soft yellow ones, not hard crunchy white ones)
  • 1 cup water (more if required)
  • 200ml lemon juice
  • 1.25kg white sugar
  • 75g glace ginger
  • 2 Tbsp (40ml) Kirsch
  • 1/16 tsp Herbie’s Mixed Spice
  • 500ml homemade pectin

1.  Peel and halve the nectarines and remove the seeds.  In a small saucepan, boil the nectarine skins and seeds with 150ml of the lemon juice and 1 cup of water (more if required).  Dice the nectarine flesh into 1cm cubes.

2.  In a separate bowl, add the remaining lemon juice to the diced nectarines (to prevent oxidation).

3.  When coloured and thick, pour the nectarine skins and seed with their cooking liquid through a sieve into a large stew pot.  Press the pulp to extract all the liquid from it, then discard the seeds and remaining skin.  Add diced nectarines and pectin to the pot, simmer gently while you prepare the other ingredients.

4.  Finely dice the glace ginger and add to the simmering nectarines.

5.  Remove the seeds from the apricots and cut them into eighths (don’t peel). Discard the seeds.

6.  Add the apricots and the sugar and bring the mixture to the boil.

7.  Add the Kirsch and mixed spice. Skim the pot regularly to remove any foam – this improves the appearance of the final jam.

8.  Boil until the jam sets softly (about 30 minutes).  Test by putting a small blob on a cold plate – if the jam is set properly, it will wrinkle when given a small poke with your finger.

9.  Ladle the jam into sterile jars and seal tightly, then process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, ensuring that the water covers the lids by at least 2.5cm.  Note: make sure you put the hot jars into hot water – if you use cold water, the glass jars may crack.

See our Jam Making Primer for more tips on making jam.

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