Thursday, August 12, 2010

Canning Week Day 2 - Apricot Jam

Yesterday was apricot jam day. I got these late season apricots at the market on Sunday and could not wait to get them into their jars. Apricot was the one jam that I did not make enough of last year, and I opened up the last jar of it just a few days ago. I love apricot jam as it is a very versatile thing to have around the house. Aside from the obvious spreading onto toast and English muffins, I also use this jam for jelly rolls, freezer box cookie filling, it makes a great filling between layers of chocolate cake, bbq sauce bases, and glazes for ham or pork roasts.

I think this year's jam will be quite stiff just like last years. The apricots seemed under ripe, so their pectin content was really high. I also figured out why my strawberry was so foamy the day before. I was cooking too quickly and that caused the crystallization problems that resulted in the foaminess. I wished I was able to retain these kinds of lessons better from year to year. I suppose I need to write myself some sort of notes to keep around and review from year to year to ensure no knowledge is lost from the year before. It is kind of like sending a kid on summer vacation, and they remember the big concepts but lose the finer ones until they are back in the swing of things again the next school year.

This year's jam is a bit more golden than last year's deep orange color. I used a different lighter variety of fruit, so I am sure most of that is from the fruit selection. I have found out that apricot is my brother-in-law's favorite jam, so I will be making another batch to share with him if the Brittany apricots come in late this month. If not, I guess it will have to be a rationed out product this year. I am really banking on those Brittanies as they made stellar jam with just the right amount of sweetness and tart undertones.

Today I am tackling the peach jam. I am also hoping to hop on the sewing machine as I did not get to that yesterday. I want to get this project finished and some notes written up before I share the project with you. It is a fun one and also eco-Friendly money saver if you are into that. Well there are the first round of peaches to peel, so I am off.

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