About Karen

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A B&B Landlady who trains others to run B&Bs and market them. Also run a very nice non stuffy B&B in the lovely Shropshire Hills. Love dogs!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Apricot Preserve

www.shropshirebreakfast.co.uk

There's a point in June when I start making regular trips to Ludlow to see if they have apricots in stock. Apricots are probably my favourite fruit & apricot preserve, my favourite jam.

However there are apricots and there are apricots! The first ones to appear, and the ones you get in most supermarkets, are small & a bit pale looking with very firm flesh. However the "right" apricots are large and sweet and delicious, a very dark orange colour with a red tinge.

I will happily eat a whole bag straight off and I also love them in apricot tart ( but please no almonds or amaretto ! Just apricot, custard & puff pastry )

This is Delia's apricot preserve recipe but slightly adapted. She puts the kernels from the apricot stones into the preserve - no thank you Delia.

Apricots are high in pectin so you just need normal sugar not jam sugar as with strawberry jam. You also need to start the prep the night before.

1 kg apricots
1 kg sugar
juice of one large lemon
knob of butter

Halve the apricots and put in a large pan, layering with the sugar and lemon juice. Put on a lid & leave overnight.

In the morning, take the lid off and put the pan on a low heat. Heat until all the sugar has dissolved which takes about 15 minutes.

Increase the heat and bringing to boiling point, adding the knob of butter. Boil for 10 minutes ( stirring occasionally to stop it sticking ) then test for a set. The easiest way to do this is with a jam thermometer otherwise have some saucers in the freezer. Take the saucer from the freezer and put a teaspoon of jam on it. If after a minute it forms a wrinkly skin when you draw your finger across it you have a set. If not then reboil for 5 minutes and repeat the test.

Leave the jam for 15 minutes, then skim off any scum. Then pour into hot sterilised jars ( I sterilise my jars by putting through a hot dishwasher then put them in a low oven to dry & keep hot ).

This makes about 4 lbs.

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