Friday, August 03, 2007

Apricot Vodka Jam

There was an abundance of apricots from the fruit tree in January and since I don't eat apricots I made it into jam instead for Mr Redneck.

To a lot of people making jam seems like a lot of work but surprisingly it is not. The final reward and satisfaction in eating your own flavoursome jam justify the small amount of time and effort required.

By making your own jam, you have the flexibility of adjusting the sweetness, have it chunky or smooth or in this case we added some alcohol to our homemade apricot jam giving it an extra kick.

homemade apricot vodka jam
Makes 4 x 300ml jars


850 gm apricots
¼ cup water
800 gm sugar
1½ Tbsp vodka (optional)

1. Put 2 saucers into the freezer for use later to check the jams's setting point.

2. Split and stone apricots. Crack 1/3 of the stones, remove the kernels and blanch by dipping in hot water to remove the skin and smash to small pieces (the kernels gives added flavour to the jam)

3. Using a food processor, pulse the apricots to smaller bits.

apricot pulp

4. Put the fruits with the water and kernels into a pan. Bring to a boil and cook slowly until fruit is soft.

5. Add sugar and boil rapidly for 15-20 minutes until jam sets* on cold saucers .

6. Add vodka and use a lighter to burn off the alcohol or just stir to mix.

7. Pour into hot sterilised* jars, seal, label and store in a cool place.

apricot vodka jam
Setting Point
Test for setting by dropping a small amount of jam onto a cold saucer. After a few minutes, push it with your finger. If it wrinkles and forms a skin it is ready. If it does not, boil longer and try again.
Alternatively test with a thermometer. Setting point is reached when the temperature reaches 105C.

apricot jam on homemade wholemeal bread
Sterilising jars
To sterilise the preserving jars wash them in soapy water and leave to soak in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and put the glass jars into an oven at 120°C for 15 minutes or until the jars are required. Do not at any stage dry the jars with a tea towel.
To some, my way of sterilising the jars might seem a bit 'slipshot' but so far I have not had any jams or preserves go bad on me.

Note : The weight of 850gm apricot is after removing the stone.


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