I have been thinking quite a bit about my grandmother lately. She just passed away in January at the age of 96. It was this time of year that she had been coming to stay with us for a little ‘vacation’ from my uncles where she regularly stayed. She grew up on a farm similar, but much larger in property than where we live. Her father farmed the land and her mother cooked and canned all the food they needed. Her memory was excellent and she would tell me stories of taking the cane with her father to the sorghum mill to get cooking sugar for the winter or how her and her brothers would plant rows upon rows of tomatoes in the fields…so many great stories of a time past. Anyways, I think she enjoyed being here and being able to have fresh picked vegetables and fruits from the garden. She loved Apricots and although we planted an apricot tree the first year we moved in, it still probably has another two or three years before it produces, so I never got to help her out with her cravings in that department. I think she would have loved this recipe.
I came upon this recipe about a week ago for Apricot Jam with Amaretto and have been thinking about it ever since. We were at costco a few days ago and they had crates of apricots so I bought two, which ended up being 6 pounds and decided that it was the perfect day, being 100 degrees outside, to stay in and make some jam. I love canning and that’s what I did with all of this, but if you haven’t ever canned before you can make this and freeze it in jars or freezer bags and it will keep just fine. Or you can cut the recipe down by quite a bit and just make enough for what you think you will eat in the near future.
This is a recipe adapted from Eugenia Bone’s in Well Preserved and Rachel Saunder’s in The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook.
Apricot Amaretto Jam:
6 pounds pitted and quartered apricots
2 ¼ White sugar
4 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ Tablespoon butter
1 ½ Cup Amaretto
For the first day you will need to combine the apricots, sugar, and lemon juice in a large pot or bowl and let macerate overnight in the fridge. Make sure that you cover the mixture well with plastic wrap, sealing completely, all the way down on top of the apricots. This should keep the mixture from browning.
Bring mixture to a bowl in a large pan. I would recommend using a pretty tall pot for this as the apricots can over boil if you aren’t prepared for it. The butter will help with the foaming, but it will still rise up a bit. Once the mixture begins to boil you will want to go ahead and add the butter. Make sure to skim off the foam while you boil and it should help keep it contained. I usually keep an additional bowl nearby for the foam and skim it off with a shallow ladle. Once you have gotten the mixture to a stable boil, set a timer for 30 minutes. As you cook keep skimming off the foam and make sure you constantly are stirring the mixture, clearing the bottom of the pan from any excess sugar or clumps. Boil at a constant pace for the next 30 minutes and make sure the mixture doesn’t roar, it should boil at a contant rate. As the water boils off, you will need to gradually turn down the heat, especially in the last 10 minutes of the boil.
If you are concerned about the thickness of the jam, you can test by placing a few spoons in the freezer ahead of time and after the 30 minute boil you will simply place a bit of the mixture on the spoon and place it back in the freezer for another 3-4 minutes. After this time the mixture on the spoon should be gloppy, but not runny.
When you get the jam to a consistency that you are happy with ladle it into jars and process 10 minutes in a canner.
This recipe makes roughly 14 half pint jars.