Sunday, January 1, 2012

Apricot Jam

Had 3 goes at my first batch and couldn't get it right.
Too runny.
So put it back in to cook it some more.
Too stiff.
Then tried to loosen it up with some water.
Still too stiff.
Temperature is a funny thing with jam.
It's fairly critical.

I've since learnt;
218 degrees = syrup
220 degrees = jell (or is it gell?) point for jam
220 degrees for 5-10 minutes (which takes it up around 228) and you're on your way to chewy lolly.
The other thing I learnt - if you don't put your fruit in the fridge
overnight with the sugar, the fruit will boil away to nothingness.
Fine, if you like a pureed type of jam.
Not so good if you like it with globby bits of fruit.
And.....I also learnt about picking apricots.
Was there ever a more delicate fruit?
(Maybe figs).
If they are perfectly ripe when you pick them - kind of orangey with overtones (or undertones?) of red,
they will bruise extremely quickly.
So those ones, you pop in your gob while you are under the tree.
They are little explosions of heaven!
You want to pick the ones that are firm to the touch and have just lost the last
little tinge of green - sort of orangey-yellow.
Then there are the ones that still have a bit of green on them - they are ok to pick too.
But they have to sit on the bench for a couple of days to ripen.

Anyway, I'll keep the first batch (too thick) for jam drop bikkies
and one jar to Mum who loves chewy, lolly jam.
The second batch - following Delia's instructions was much more successful.
It really is THE most glorious colour, isn't it?

Photos:28,30,31 Dec '11 and 1 Jan '12.
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