Monday, September 27, 2010

Apricot-Pineapple Jam

I looked and looked online and only found one recipe that asks for fresh pineapple. The rest say canned.

This is DELICIOUS! I posted the recipe as I found it, and my notes are after it.

5 cups of apricots, (skins removed and pitted--about 4 pounds)
1 medium sized pineapple, peel and core removed (about 1 cup)
1 Box Pectin
6 cups sugar, divided (4 1/2 cups and 1 1/2 cups)
1 pat butter

Water bath canning pot and rack. (I used a steam canner and it worked fine.)
Clean jars, lids and rims.
Clean towels, long tongs and a jar lifter (or tongs with rubber grips)
Pot of water for metal lids and rims.
Bowl of ice water (to remove apricot skins)

To easily remove apricot skins, cut a small “x” at the bottom of each fruit.
Gently dunk into a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
Remove, with a slotted spoon.
Starting with the “x”, peel the skins off by sliding with your thumbs. It’s that easy!

Using a food processor (or by hand, if you prefer), pulse the apricots until they are chunky smooth— not pureed. You want bits of apricot for texture.Strain the apricots and reserve the juice.

For the pineapple:
Trim the pineapple by removing the top, cutting off the shell and then cutting into quarters.
Removing the core, is easier.

I like to use my food processor, but you can cut the pineapple, by hand. I pulse the cut pineapple until it’s fine but not pureed.

Strain the pineapple, reserving the juice with the apricot juice. I ended up with about 3/4 cups juice.

In a large pot, add the fruit, box of pectin and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Combine and bring to a low boil.

Slowly stir in the remaining sugar.Bring to a continuous roll, stirring frequently, so it doesn’t stick.

Bring to a gel stage (approximately 10 minutes).

I like to chill a plate in my freezer. Spoon a little of the cooked fruit on the cold plate. Run your finger through it, and see if it separates. Let is sit a minute more and feel the texture. If it gels, it’s ready.

Pour into sterilized clean class jars with lids.

Set the filled jars in a rack, covered by at least 2” of boiling water. Keep the pot covered and set a timer for 10 minutes, from when the water begins to rapidly boil.

Remove from the pot, carefully, with a jar lifter onto a clean towel.

Listen for the “pop” of the vacuum on the lids…and/or press a finger on the top. If it’s firm, you have a good vacuum.

If a jar is not sealed, properly, you can repeat the water bath boil method, or refrigerate this jar and eat within 2 weeks.

A few things happened when I was making the jam.

First: I forgot the butter. No big deal, my sister says it just keeps the jam from foaming. But I scooped the foam into one of the jars and I'm just eating that one first and it's VERY yummy!

Second: The lady says to reserve the juice, but then doesn't say what to do with it. My sister says you use that if you don't have enough fruit to make 5 cups or whatever. This would have been good to know, because I only had 4 cups apricots and I ended up pureeing one cup of pineapple and mixing it in, then chopping up another cup for the pineapple bits. Still tasty, but it gives it a much stronger pineapple flavor.

Third: The tip about the plate REALLY helped. My sister was trying to explain how to test for the gel stage by dipping a spoon in the jam, but when I did it, it still seemed super runny. But when I put it on the plate after the 10 minutes of cooking, it jammed right up.

This is the first time I've ever made jam and it was super easy!

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