After having made apricot jam, I hope to make peach before the end of the season. I find it a bit nostalgic to savor the taste of summer in other months of the year. Whichever fruit you choose, I hope you enjoy this recipe and find it less daunting than the typical jam making process. It is very gratifying to spread a little sunshine on a piece of toast in the colder winter months and to let your taste buds transport you back to the warmer sun-drenched days of summertime. Bon chance et bon appétit!
FRESH FRUIT JAM
5-10 kg fresh, ripe fruit
500 grams/1 kg of fruit sugar
2-3 tbsp jam (homemade or store bought) or 1 tsp. vegetarian gelatin (diluted in water)
Jars with lids, washed and fully dried (I used 13 jars for 6 kgs of fruit)
1. Wash and de-pit the fruit. Chop into large chunks (halves or quarters for larger fruit).
2. In a large stockpot mix the chopped fruit and sugar well, cover and let rest overnight. Two pots may be needed depending on the amount of fruit used.
3. In the morning, cook the fruit/sugar mix over medium heat for 25 minutes. Stir often to avoid the mixture from sticking to the pot or boiling over. Let the mixture settle and cool. A layer of foam will develop, skim all and any excess water before covering. Let rest overnight.
4. In the afternoon, add the jam (or gelatin) to the fruit and cook, stirring often, for another 15 minutes. Skim any additional foam. The color should begin to change to a darker apricot hue.
5. In the evening, cook the jam again for a final 15 minutes. The jam should begin to thicken and should now be a rich apricot color. After 15 minutes, let the jam cool slightly.
6. Using a soup ladle and a funnel, slowly add the jam to the jars, almost filling complete but not to the rim of the jarl. Be careful not to spill as the mixture is very hot and you can easily burn yourself.
7. Once all the jars are filled, gently clean the rim (and jars) of any spilled jam, seal each lid tightly and turn the jars upside down. Let the jam rest (upside down) for at least 24 hours before turning upright.
8. Label and store in a cool dark place. Always refrigerate after opening.