- 1½ kg apricot
A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…
- 200ml apple juice
- 1kg preserving sugar
- juice 1 large lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- knob of butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
Put a couple of small plates in the freezer. Halve and stone the apricots, chop the flesh, then put in a large pan with the apple juice. Crack some of the kernels to extract the nut inside (this is easy to do if you crack with the flat side of a heavy saucepan), then add them to the pan – this is optional, but gives extra flavour. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins, until the apricots are softened.
Stir in the sugar and lemon juice, then stir well over a moderate heat to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat and boil for about 20 mins until jam has set. Test by spooning a little jam onto one of your cold plates. After a moment push the jam with your finger; if the jam wrinkles, it is ready. If not, return to the boil for a further 5 mins, then test again.
Remove from the heat, skim off any scum, then stir in the butter to dissolve any remaining scum. Cool for 10 mins, stir again, then ladle into warm sterilised jars. Seal, label, then store in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.
Keeping your conserve for longer
This conserve is low in sugar so it will need to be kept in the fridge, unless you ‘bottle’ it once it is jarred. To do this, set the jars in a large, deep pan lined with a tea towel, making sure the tops are securely on. Weave another tea towel around the jars to stop them knocking together. Pour over water to cover the jars completely, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 hour, then leave in the water to cool. The jam can now be kept in a cool, dark place for up to a year.