Tag Archives | Putting By

Urban Preserving: Apricot Rosemary Jam

apricot rosemary jam

I ate my first memorable apricot in 1986. I was seven years old and my sister was in her final year of nursery school. The normal order of things in those days was that my mom would pick Raina up at school first and then together, they’d come to get me. For whatever reason, that day the pick-up order was reserved. I delighted in that mostly because it meant I could ride in the front seat without a battle.

2 pounds apricots

When we walked into the main area of Wee Kirk (is it strange that 25 years later, I still remember the name of my younger sister’s pre-school?), sitting on a high table was a giant basket of apricots with a sign that simply said, “Help yourself.” A parent had brought it in, an attempt to cope with the amount of fruit that a tree in Southern California can produce.

I took one, slurped it down and then quickly pocketed two more, loving the way the sweet and tart played together. My mom stopped me before I could well and truly ruin my dinner, but she was too late to keep me from falling under the spell of the apricot.

2 pounds apricots - halved

Though I’ve happily put away more than a few apricots in the intervening years, my appreciation for apricots was well and truly rekindled during my Slashfood days. That when I was the lucky recipient of a jar of Blenheim apricot jam from We Love Jam. This was about six months before my own jam making practice exploded, and so that jar seemed magical and hugely precious. I turned some aspect of every meal into a vehicle for that jam.

3 1/2 cups chopped apricots

Last year, thanks to a friend with good fruit connections, I got a good deal on apricots and made jam and butter galore. However, I gave away a bunch and ate the rest and it was all long gone well before January. This season I was determined not to spend even a moment without access to an apricot preserve of some stripe. So I bought 25 pounds of apricots from Beechwood Orchards a few weeks back. They were seconds. They were heavy. They were a dollar a pound. I couldn’t resist.

apricot rosemary jam - mixed

I realize that confessing the volume of this purchase flies in the face of an urban preserving post. But before you freak out, I want to make it clear that you don’t have to be like me. My canning exists at one end of the spectrum. Here’s how you can make a batch of apricot jam on the on the other end. The small batch kind. All you need is two pounds of apricots. Whether you pluck them from a larger haul or you restrain yourself to buying just the handful necessary is up to you.

apricot rosemary jam - cooking

The way it works is fairly simple. Take two pounds of apricots and pull them in half with your fingers. Pluck out the pits and put them aside. Heap the halved apricots into a measuring cup with at least four cups capacity. Once they’re all there, use a fork or a small potato masher and break them down. The pieces don’t have to be uniform in size, you just want a pulpy, vividly orange mess.

Combine them with two cups of sugar and three tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary (should you not be a fan of rosemary, feel free to leave it out for a more traditional flavor profile). Pour into a pot and cook until it spits and spatters and runs thickly off the side of a spoon. Add the juice of a lemon. Fill the jars and process. No pectin or extensive cook times required (apricots are already so thick and jammy before you even add sugar that they cook up speedy fast).

apricot rosemary jam

The final flavor is sweet, tart and just a touch herbal. It’s good slathered on chicken before baking or dabbed atop a healthy blog of goat cheese. My inspiration for the addition of rosemary comes from the lovely site Putting By. I really enjoy the use of blog as personal record of food preservation. I aspire to that level of documentation, but rarely achieve it.

Should you need a more detailed set of instructions, an organized recipe is after the jump.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 73 }

A Few Shots from the Food in Jars Flickr Pool

I’ve done a few little things in the kitchen today, although I’m still struggling to feel confident at the stove when I still haven’t quite regained my sense of smell (it’s really hard to cook when your sniffer is on the blink). While we wait for me to get my act back together (just to give you a hint of things to come, I’m planning on doing a batch of herb-infused honey to help with cold season healing), here are a few lovely photos from the Food in Jars Flickr page. Please join the group and add your photos!

This image was taken by Kimberly at The Year in Food. Back in late December (feels so long ago, doesn’t it?), she cooked up a batch of orange marmalade that looks like the perfect thing to brighten a dreary morning.

Holiday Home Tour

Not preserves, but still, so perfectly festive and appealing. Plus I love Mama Urchin‘s way of seeing the world.

Orange Liqueur

I keeping meaning to do one of these fruit infused liqueurs (although the truth of it is that I barely drink and turn bright red after half a beer). Pam at Sidewalk Shoes has done a couple this season, including this gorgeous orange variety.

Spiced Crab Apples

Lastly, check out these glowing spiced crab apples from Putting Up With the Turnbulls. Those two are some of the hardest working canners on the internet. Truly, their output is impressively prodigious.

Comments { 17 }