We cherish our time in Greece. When we are in the beautiful Aegean Sea, we hug each other in a circle and give thanks for the opportunity to enjoy these beautiful moments in a place where the sun is bright, the sea is blue and the land is warm and welcoming. We stopped at a road side seller of fruit and vegetables the other day. You know, those sellers that set up their benches on the roadside right next to their orchards. They pick the fruit from the tree and sell them. You must buy these fruit when you get a chance, because as the nice lady-seller said, when the fruit ripens on the tree its sweetness is something else. The kind lady offered us – for free – a big bag of very ripe apricots. Some of them too ripe to sell but excellent for jam. I can’t remember how many times I made my own jam. Hardly a couple. We used to get plenty from my mother-in-law who has now passed away. The generous offer from the seller, the nostalgic feeling from getting jam from “giagia” made the time ripe! This recipe has significantly less sugar than what you find on other jam recipes on the web but it was really sweet. I think it’s because the apricots were so yum ripe and sweet. You may want to adjust the sugar if you use less ripe apricots. The typical ratio is two pounds sugar to 2 pounds fruit. Below is the recipe as I made it but cut in half to make it more realistic. How often would you buy 4-5 kilo of apricots to make jam?
- 2 kilos or 4 pounds apricots
- 1 pound or half kilo sugar
- 1/4 cup juice from a lemon
- about 1 teaspoon gelatin (optional)
How to make: Wash the apricots, cut them in half and remove the seeds. In a big pot, arrange a layer of apricot halves. Sprinkle with sugar. Arrange another layer on top and sprinkle more sugar. Repeat the same, adding more layers of apricot halves and sugar. Cover the pot and let it rest overnight. This method will yield jam that is less smooth, with discernible piece of fruit. The next day, boil the jam at medium heat for about 45 minutes. Be sure to stir often so it doesn’t get burnt. When it thickens, add the lemon. If it doesn’t thicken to your liking, dissolve the gelatin in some water and add it to the jam. Let it cook for a bit longer but at this point, keep stirring and take it off with it’s thick enough. While it’s still hot, put in in jam jars. Fill them up to the top, put the lids tight and turn them upside down. When the jam is cool, keep it refrigerated, lids on top. If you have appropriate jars with lids that will seal the air out, you can keep the jam in your cabinet for up to a few months. I never needed to store the jam for that long so I didn’t try it 🙂