Friday, April 9, 2010

Apricot Plum Jam with Orange Pectin

Before full-on pantry raiding happens, the big freezer clean-out must occur. That is to say, that all the goodies in the freezer have to be canned or eaten. Particularly before a shipment of forty pounds of local chicken meat comes to roost. I'm a bit of a hoarder, so I still had two big bags of apricots and plums from last fall. Instead of doing small batches, I took them out in one fell swoop by combining the two. I feel that apricots and plums go incredibly well together. And because I had a jar of orange pectin in the freezer too, I figured I'd make the jam with that.

Apricots don't have much by way of pectin, but they have a nice level of acidity. Plums vary on pectin, and I've read a lot of varying reports on that. I think it's safe to say that if you have a sweet plum, say the black ones, you don't have a lot of pectin. I was working with a tart but sweet Santa Rosa, which are just a gorgeous pinky-peach color. I didn't want the orange pectin to overpower the flavor of the fruit, so I used much less than the ratio of the jelly I made with orange pectin, hence, it wasn't as firm.

This jam took forever to jell. It was sheeting like mad, however, not quite at the wrinkle stage, but I pulled it because it seemed to be overcooking and the flavor was changing from that fresh fruit stage to a more sugared fruit stage. After sitting, it still is a soft set but holds together nicely on toast. It's a real soft spread, as they say. It's a gorgeous carnelian color, and although sweet--even though the sugar ratio is quite low--it retained its punchy acidity, thanks to the fruit.

I thought about these measurements for a while and I'm still not entirely sure of them. I didn't add lemon juice, because the pectin has a bunch in it. I think if you are looking for a firmer set, you might want to have equal amounts pectin to fruit, so I should have had eight cups. That would have been too much for my pot. Next time I might make a much smaller batch.

4 cups plums, halved and drupe removed
4 cups apricots, halved and, or you can say, pits removed
4 cups of sugar
2 cups of orange pectin

Bring all to a boil. How long it will take? Who knows. I pulled this at about 219 degrees? I leave that up to you, mon frere. Process in hot jars for ten minutes.


  1. There is something really satisfying about seeing a pantry full of preserves that you have made isn't there. Sometimes I just like to open the door for a moment, look and then close it :-)

  2. chfg - I do the same exact thing. Open up the cupboard, maybe hold one up and see it glisten, then quietly put it back and go along my merry way...

  3. hehehe thats so funny. I pick it up to watch it glisten too. Maybe we should get out more?

  4. You think? Oh, goodness. That made me laugh.