Food in Jars A blog dedicated to canning, preserving, and pantry staples made from scratch.
This sweet, tangy, and bright apricot strawberry jam is the perfect marriage of early season stonefruit and juicy berries. Try it stirred into yogurt or as a glaze for roast chicken.
Several weeks ago, before the local season for either apricots or strawberries started, I found myself wandering through Reading Terminal Market. I was there to pick up a few things for a recipe development gig, and had no intention of buying out-of-season fruit that had traveled great distances.
I was walking with purpose towards the herbs, when the sight of a pile of tiny, brightly hued apricots stopped me mid-step and I was suddenly powerless to resist them. Before I knew what I was doing, I had a plastic bag in my hand and I was filling it with perfect fruit. With the bag nestled into my basket, I went a few more steps before I was again stopped by a display of incredibly fragrant strawberries. They joined the apricots. This is the not the first time I’ve fallen sway to fruit.
Once home, I snacked on the fruit a bit (both to get a sense of their state of sweet and tart, and because it all smelled so good) and then weighed out what remained. I worked up a recipe ratio in my head and got to the work of pitted, hulling, and chopping.
In the end, I used 2 1/2 pounds of apricots and 1 1/2 pounds of strawberries. Using a ratio of four parts fruit to one part sugar, I measured out 2 cups of sugar, which is approximately 1 pound. I settled the fruit into my Kilner jam pan , added most of theÂ sugar, gave it a good stir, and then let it sit for several hours, so that the sugar could dissolve and help draw the juice from the fruit. Later, I added some lemon juice to help balance the flavors, and used Pomona’s Pectin to get it to set up.
Once cooked, I had exactly five half pints of really delicious jam, that starts with the flavor of apricots and finishes with the strawberry. I typically keep a box of recently made jams and preserves next to my front door, so that I can easily grab things to share with friends and neighbors. However, this is one that I’ve actively kept out of the box, because I want to keep it all for myself. It’s just that good.
2 cups sugar, divided
Combine the chopped apricots and strawberries in a large, wide non-reactive pan. Add 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and stir to combine. Let the fruit sit and get juicy for at least an hour.
When you’re ready to cook, prepare a canning pot and 5 half pints.
Add the lemon juice and calcium water to the pot. Stir vigorously to combine.
Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook until the apricot slices come apart, the berries break down, and the liquid thickens.
Whisk the pectin powder into the reserved sugar. Add the pectin-spiked sugar to the cooking fruit in two or three batches, stirring to integrate between each addition.
Cook for an additional minute or two, until you see visible signs of thickening.
Remove the jam from the heat and funnel it into prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.