Peach and Apricot Jam

I went overboard buying fresh fruit (they’re so luscious in summer!). Knowing I won’t be able to eat it all before they die a slow death in the fridge, I’m making jam again.

There’s no need for pectin or jam sugar (which is just caster sugar with added pectin), if you use arrowroot powder or cornflour as a thickener.

Makes: 580g (500 ml +) of jam

 

Ingredients

  • 450-470g fresh peaches (weighed whole), about 6 flat or 3 regular
  • 200g fresh apricots (weighed whole), about 3
  • 1 orange: finely grated zest, and juice/pulp
  • 1 unwaxed lemon: finely grated zest, and juice/pulp
  • 3 heaped dessert spoonfuls of soft dark brown or soft light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace (ground nutmeg is a suitable substitute)
  • A small handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped/torn
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour or arrowroot powder

Kit

  • Mortar & pestle, to grind star anise
  • A large, heavy-bottomed pot with lid
  • Citrus grater
  • Chopping board and sharp knife
  • Manual whisk
  • A 500ml sealing jam jar (optional)

Steps

  1. Stone and roughly chop the fruit (peel the peaches if you prefer a more refined jam; leaving the skin on creates a chunkier, more rustic kind of chutney).
  2. Bash the star anise in a mortar & pestle until it’s in very small bits.
  3. Put all ingredients, except cornflour/arrowroot, in a large covered saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Briskly whisk in the cornflour/arrowroot and leave to bubble on a medium heat for 10 minutes with the lid off, whisking every few minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat (ideally, move the pot to the smallest ring at the lowest setting), put on the lid, and leave to simmer for another 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Take the lid off after 15 minutes to reduce further.
  5. If you want to save it for later, you could sterilise a 500ml jam jar (see here for details), and pour the jam into it. With a new lid/ring, it’ll keep in the cupboard for up to 6 months prior to opening; after which it’ll keep for several weeks in the fridge. With a previously-used lid/ring, you should put it straight into the fridge after cooling, and use within 2 weeks.

Baking Uses
As per my Strawberry & Kiwi jam, this would be excellent in a layered sponge cake. If using it this way, I’d definitely peel the peaches, chop them and the apricots very small, and also add at least 1 more heaped dessert spoonful of sugar.

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