Apricots

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Daisy

  • Sr. Member
Apricots
« on: June 20, 2015, 07:30:33 AM »
Our two apricot trees, are yet again producing masses of really juicy fruit.
My husband is picking them daily and carrying bags full to all the neighbours.
I asked him to make some jam, which he did, but it wouldn't set.
Does anyone have a recipe he could follow?
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

Alice

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2015, 09:36:06 AM »
Daisy, here is a recipe I follow which produces really nice apricot jam:

Apricots        1.28 kg
Sugar           1.28 kg
Water           1 cup
Lemon juice  1 teaspoon

Simmer stoned and halved apricots in water. When soft add sugar, allow to dissolve and boil on "high", stirring continuously with wooden spoon until set. Add lemon juice and boil for 1-2 minutes. Add to jars immediately and allow to cool before sealing.
I have found that adding a teaspoon of brandy to each jar when the jam has cooled prevents any mould developing.

I wonder why your husband's jam is not setting. I have never had a problem with apricots but have had with strawberries which are low in pectin. Is he not boiling it down enough? Did he use a jam thermometer? To check if a jam has set I use the cooled saucer technique. Cool a few saucers in the fridge, then when you think the jam has thickened sufficiently remove about half a teaspoonful, place it on a saucer and leave in the fridge for a minute or so. Take out and push the jam gently with the side of a finger. If it has set it will have formed a thin skin on top. If not continue to boil and check again every minute or so.

Our big apricot tree seems to produce a bumper crop one year and almost nothing the next. This year is a lean year, so no apricot jam.
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

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Alisdair

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2015, 10:28:50 AM »
Alice, Helena asks if you leave the brandy sitting on top, or stir it in? And do you use that trick for other fruits?
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Alice

  • Hero Member
Re: Apricots
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2015, 11:29:03 AM »
Alisdair, Helena, I just spoon the brandy on top, put the lid on the jars and store them. The brandy will soak in. I don't use it in a jar that will be eaten immediately.
I picked the tip up from my mother. I have not used it in other jams (that is because I don't make many others) but I don't see why not.
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

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Alisdair

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2015, 05:16:29 PM »
Thanks, Alice: Helena says to say "Very useful!"
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Caroline

  • Full Member
Re: Apricots
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2015, 10:28:45 PM »
Hi Daisy, apricots are also low in pectin so as Alice suggests the answer is lemon juice. The rough rule of thumb seems to be juice of one large lemon to every pound of apricots, plus two tablespoons of water and one pound of sugar. The other possibility is to use "jam sugar" which has added pectin but I suspect that's hard to come by in Crete :(

By the way, what is the secret of your fabulous hippeastrums?  There was a pot of them in a photo recently - quite a small pot with multiple flowers!

Get well soon...
I am establishing a garden on Waiheke Island, 35 minutes out of Auckland. The site is windy, the clay soil dries out quickly in summer and is like plasticine in winter, but it is still very rewarding. Water is an issue, as we depend on tanks. I'm looking forward to sharing ideas. Caroline

Alice

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2015, 07:21:47 PM »
A thought just occurred to me, Daisy. Was your husband using only ripe or over-ripe apricots? They are lower in pectin than slightly under-ripe ones.
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

Daisy

  • Sr. Member
Re: Apricots
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2015, 08:50:07 AM »
Thank-you Alice, that is so useful. Now all I have to do is get my husband to heed the advice. He has a habit of saying, "I'll do it my way" ::) The apricots were a mixture of ripe and under-ripe ones.

Caroline, That hippeastrum is one bulb which I put in the toe of my husband's Christmas stocking about 18 years ago. Every year it has bloomed well, but nothing special. Last year, when it had finished blooming, as well as the usual controlled release fertilizer, I gave it a big pinch of a high potash fertilizer. That is the only difference, so it must be why it has done so well this year.

 

 
Daisy :)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 09:00:37 AM by Daisy »
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

SusanIbiza

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Re: Apricots
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2015, 09:30:19 AM »
Wow Daisy!  That is amazing!  I always look forward to your beautiful photos of your spectacular garden.  What is the best time of the year to plant new rose bushes?  Should I buy bare root or in containers?  We live on the dry side of Ibiza with very low annual rainfall (200 mm or 8 inches in the old money). I am so inspired by your wonderful roses.  :)
Now gardening in Ibiza, Balearics having moved last year from Queensland, Australia.  Mediterranean gardening is my challenge now, there is such a lot to learn, but it is lots of fun.