I’m not a huge jam eater, it tends to make my blood sugars go a bit wacky, but the one jam I find hard to resist is apricot. Especially when there are crunchy apricot kernels hiding amongst big chunks of fruit lending the jam a delicious almondy taste. Apricots and almonds are both part of the Prunus family which explains their affinity for each other in cooking. It’s a combination I really enjoy so I though it might be nice to up the ante and splash in some Amaretto which happens to be made from apricot kernels.
Not much can beat breakfasting on thickly sliced french bread spread with butter and jam and a large cup of tea while basking in the morning sunshine listening to birdsong. And don’t worry, there isn’t enough booze to exclude this as breakfast material! If I can hold off eating all four jars straight-up on bread I hope to use some in a Bakewell tart or maybe a bread and butter pudding. But I am already on the second jar, the first didn’t even survive long enough to get in the photos.
Apricot and Amaretto jam
Makes 4 jars
- 1kg ripe apricots
- 1kg sugar
- juice of 2 lemons
- 75ml Amaretto
Wash and dry the apricots before cutting them into quarters. You can leave some in halves for a chunkier jam.
Reserve the stones and place the apricots in a large pan with the sugar. Cover and leave to sit for several hours or overnight. In this time the sugar will dissolve meaning you won’t have to cook the jam too long.
Crack the stones and remove the kernels. Peel the brown skin from the kernels – if this is tricky you can blanche them. Reserve the kernels.
Stir the apricots and sugar well and bring to a boil. Stir gently from time to time to prevent the bottom from burning. Skim off any foam* that appears.
Check the temperature with a sugar thermometer or do the cool plate test. Once the jam reaches 104°C take off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, Amaretto and kernels. Pour into sterilised jars and seal while still warm.
*The foam won’t spoil your jam but it may make it cloudy.