If there is one fruit which epitomises Summer, it is the apricot, with its sunshine colour and sweet, fragrant taste. For a few short weeks, these delightful fruits adorn my breakfast table, but all too soon, their season is over. So thank heavens for preserving and jam-making, which is the theme of #SundaySupper this week, hosted by Heather of Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks. By making Apricot Ginger Jam, I can preserve the taste of Summer well into the cool, dark evenings of Autumn.
I always thought that making jam was vaguely mysterious, requiring a talent I probably did not possess. Then, a couple of years ago, when my perusal of recipe books began in earnest, I discovered that jam-making was a very quick and easy process, with very few ingredients, and no tricky techniques to speak of. I couldn’t believe that all you need is some fruit and some sugar.
There is of course the technical issue of actually preserving the stuff – how to sterilise a jar, what temperature everything should be, what to do with the little waxed circles and cellophane – but again, it was not nearly as complicated as I thought. A jar is easily sterilised by washing in hot, soapy water, rinsing, then allowing to dry in a warm oven. The temperature rule is equally straightforward: when preserving, it’s either hot jar and hot jam (so you pot the jam as soon as it’s ready and with the jar straight from the oven) or cold jar and cold jam (so you leave both to cool completely). Lukewarm of either is bad, as it can lead to mould.
With the basics sorted, I became confident to experiment, hence this Apricot Ginger Jam. It is not the quickest jam to make; because of the addition of lemon juice, it takes longer to thicken. But the extra time is worth it for such a zingy and delightful combination of flavours. The ginger adds an enlivening warmth, while the lemon adds a zing of citrus, which together with the more delicate flavour of the apricots, is the ultimate taste of Summer.
This jam would be perfect in the Autumn, but it smells so good while it’s cooking that it’s almost impossible not to open a jar as soon as it’s cooled. Best to make a large batch!
For a stock-cupboard fit to burst, take a look at the recipes from the rest of the #SundaySupper group – there’s a whole harvest being preserved!
Apricot Ginger Jam from Happy Baking Days
Banana Jam from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream from Gotta Get Baked
Blueberry Lemon Basil Jam from Daily Dish Recipes
Candied Watermelon Rind fromWhat Smells So Good?
Fig and Strawberry Jam from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Mixed Berry Rhubarb Jam from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Mulberry Jam from Curious Cuisiniere
Quick Peacharine Chutney from Shockingly Delicious
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Freezer Jam fromCookin’ Mimi
Strawberry Butter from The Urban Mrs
Other Outstanding Recipes:
Fireweed Jelly fromThe Foodie Army Wife
Flavoured Butters from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Gravlax fromThat Skinny Chick Can Bake
Corn Cob Jelly from Blueberries and Blessings
Deep South Dilly Beans from Eat, Move, Shine
Fermented (Sour) Pickles from Growing Up Gabel
Fire Roasted Salsa fromPeanut Butter and Peppers
Hot and Spicy Giardiniera from The Messy Baker
Hot Italian Giardiniera from Healthy. Delicious.
Jalapeños en Escabeche (Pickled Jalapeños) fromLa Cocina de Leslie
Oi Kimchi (Korean Cucumber Kimchi) from kimchi MOM
Refrigerator Dill Pickles from Country Girl in the Village
Spicy Sweet Tomato Chutney fromFood Lust People Love
Traditional Escabeche (Pickle) fromBasic N Delicious
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.