It is mid summer already. I love visiting food market at this point because it just bursts with colours and choices! Yesterday I bought some apricots after I got inspired by recipe I found in old food magazine. Apricot jam was never my favourite but I love earl grey tea and seeing a possibility of combining these two I thought I will give it a try. Earl grey really works well with apricots! It deepens a flavour of, what I was always thinking, boring jam. Please do try it!
For fruits – try to find very rape but still firm ones. To test it just press one with your finger and it should feel soft under your touch but the skin should not open.
For earl grey- try to use good quality and aromatic leaves or bags. Unfortunately the popular Twinings is not a best choice.
- 1kg apricots, halved and stoned
- juice of 1/ 2 medium lemon or 3 spoons of lemon juice
- 50ml water
- 350 g caster sugar
- 150 ml strong earl grey tea
- Place the apricot halves, lemon juice and water in a large non-reactive saucepan, mix it all well and leave it covered for min 2 hrs or preferably overnight. During this time sugar will work with your fruits, soften them and squeeze the juice out. Benefits of this is that the cooking time will be twice shorter.
- In the meantime prepare your jars. First wash them well, then, just before you put fruits on fire, place the jars and covers in a big pot, cover with water and put on stove on medium heat. Bring them to the boil and boil for min 10 min, then reduce the heat to minimum and keep them hot in the pan util you ready with jam. It is important your jars are still hot when you place jam in them.
- Make your tea. Use 2 spoons or two bags of earl grey for 150 boiling water. Leave it for 10 min.
- When the sugar and apricots have softened, put them over a high heat, add earl grey and stir everything while cooking until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn down the heat and boil for another 20-25 minutes, until the mixture is thick. During the cooking you will discover a white froth covering the top of the jam. If you want your jam be nicely clear remove it at this point.
- In the meantime prepare your bottling equipment. I usually use some paper kitchen towel to cover well the table and when the jars are ready I place them on it.
- Test your jam by spooning a tiny amount of jam onto a top of cold sauce. Place you saucer into portrait position and look if the liquid will set before it will reach the end of the saucer (see picture below). Ready jam should set almost immediately. If it is running toward your floor cook the jam for another 10 min and check again.
- When ready pour jam into warm jars and cover immediately.