The weather has really been wreaking havoc on our apricot tree. It took forever for the fruit to ripen this season and then – wham! two days before Christmas they were all ripe at once and needing to be saved from the birds. We’re really not gardeners and the tree was there when we moved in, so while I’m sure there would be ways to keep the birds off the tree and prune the tree and so on, at this stage, we’re just happy to try to use whatever we can rather than let it go to waste.
Apricots aren’t are favorite of the summer stone fruits – in fact, they’re probably our least preferred. But we picked whatever we could reach – several kilos and sadly saw quite a few rotting thanks to fruit flies. Thankfully once Christmas leftovers were done away with and we could squeeze them into the fridge, we were able to minimize wastage. As it was, our youngest was eating a dozen a day. He thinks apricots are the greatest thing in the world!
Anyhow, I was dancing around in the kitchen dancing to my Spotify playlist and tidying my pantry and noticed this bottle of elderflower cordial that I bought a few months ago because it was on sale and “I know there’s a recipe that calls for it that I want to try” (aka the reason I buy most of the odd ingredients in my house). I couldn’t for the life of me remember why I bought it then it clicked that it was to make the apricot jam recipe in Golden. Aaron was working that day so I put it off til the next morning and then I said to him, “Hey can you help me just quickly…” (aka how most kitchen projects begin).
I’ve never made jam before but was surprised by how little work is actually required. We washed the apricots and halved and pitted them (skins left on) and put them in a large stockpot with sugar, elderflower cordial and lemon juice and set it on the cooktop on medium and let it get to a boil and cooked it down until thickened as much as we’d like and stirring regularly to prevent the bottom burning. It is a fairly soft set jam so we ended up cooking it longer than the 30 minutes the recipe suggested, and managed 6 jars and another 1/2 cup which we put in a container in the fridge.
We prepared the jars for the jam as the book recommended (there was no processing required like I’ve seen with many jam recipes) by pouring boiling water in the jars about 10 minutes before filling and filling and sealing them while the jam was hot. We left it to cool and all the pop seals have all worked and should mean the jam is shelf stable for 6 months.
The most important question of course is how does it taste? In a word…HEAVENLY! The elderflower lends a floral note to the sweet apricots and it is easily the nicest jam I’ve ever had. I can’t believe this is something we made! Now this is what I wake up to each morning…two slices of toast with butter and our homemade apricot jam washed down with an iced latte. Don’t you just love summer?!