Mum’s Apricot Jam

One of our traditions when we go down to the family beach house at Victor Harbor is to eat homemade apricot jam on toast for breakfast while enjoying the sea view and, when we’re lucky, watching dolphins frolic in the waves.

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The view from the house

Because I have such fond memories associated with it, apricot is my favourite jam flavour, especially when homemade with local (or even better homegrown) apricots. This is Mum’s recipe and makes approximately 4 cups of sweet and tangy apricot goodness.

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Ingredients (makes 4 cups)
1kg fresh apricots, halved with the kernels removed
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
1 cup water
1kg white sugar

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Method
Sterilise jars by putting them and their lids through the hottest cycle of your dishwasher without detergent, or by standing the jars in the oven on the lowest temperature for 30 minutes.

Combine apricots, vanilla and water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until pulpy.

Add sugar and stir over a high heat, without boiling, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil, uncovered and without stirring, for around 35 minutes or until the jam jells when tested.

Discard the vanilla bean and pour the hot jam into sterilised jars; sealing immediately. Label the jars with the date once cool.

Enjoy! Delicious on toast or scones with cream.

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Adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Apricot & Vanilla Bean Jam’

 

 

Raspberry Jam

Wow, what a year! It feels a bit premature to be saying that as it’s only November but I have now officially finished my uni year and am two-thirds of the way through my undergraduate degree! I’ll still be working throughout my three month uni break but now that it’s heating up, the cricket is on, the jacarandas are in full bloom, and Christmas carols are being played in stores, it’s starting to feel like the year is coming to a close 🙂

Today’s recipe is very versatile. I am making it to serve as a macaron filling for some raspberry macarons I’ve made to decorate my Grandma’s 80th Birthday cake for this evening but it could also be used sandwiched between two sponge cakes for a Victoria sponge, between biscuits to make monte carlos, or on toast.

It is a vividly berry-coloured, clear looking jam (or jelly for those of you in the US), with an intense raspberry flavour and tang. I particularly like it as it’s not too sweet and it takes very little time and know-how to make.

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Ingredients (makes about 2 small jars worth)
175g caster sugar
300g raspberries (fresh, or defrosted frozen)
Juice of half a small lemon
30g jam setting-agent (I use jamsetta)

Method
In a medium saucepan, dissolve the sugar in 100ml of water and bring to the boil.

Once the syrup has been boiling for 2 mins, add the raspberries, lemon juice and jamsetta.

Bring back to the boil, squashing the raspberries with a spatula while stirring, and let boil for 1-2 more minutes before removing from the heat and pouring into sterilised jars.

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Allow to cool for 15mins without the lids on the jars, then put the lids on and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until set.

Enjoy!

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Recipe partially based on ‘Raspberry Marmalade’ from Secrets of Macarons by José Maréchal