Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook: Aprium-Orange Blossom Jam

After the delicious grape jelly I made from my new cookbook, I took a look through the remaining recipes.  I quickly realized I was flagging most of the recipes.  Good sign.  Well, I took all those ideas with me to the grocery store to see what was in the bins.  And the answer was apriums.  I have never actually had an aprium, but they are a cross between an apricot and a plum.  Seems like a win.  Well, still having never actually eaten the fresh fruit, I can say that they make a fabulous jam.

Aprium-Orange Blossom Jam
Adapted from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders

2½ pounds apriums, pitted and quartered
1 pound granulated sugar
2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
½ ounce orange flower water
1 ounce orange blossom honey
2 tablespoons powdered pectin

Day 1

Combine the apriums with the sugar and lemon juice in a large glass or hard plastic storage container.  Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of each aprium mixture, smoothing well to minimize air bubbles (this will help keep the fruit from browning as it sits).  Cover tightly with a lid and let macerate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Day 2

Place a saucer in the freezer for testing the jam later.

Remove the apriums from the refrigerator.  Spoon the apriums into the bowl of a food processor and process until only small chunks remain.  Do not completely puree.  Combine the chopped apriums with the remaining sugar-lemon juice mixture in a large pot.  Add the almond extract, orange flower water, and honey, stirring well to combine.

Bring the jam mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently with a large heatproof rubber spatula.  Boil, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes.Taste the jam time and adjust the flavorings, if necessary.  Decrease the heat slightly.  Continue to cook, monitoring the heat closely, until the jam thickens, 30 to 45 minutes.  Sprinkle the top of the jam mixture with the powdered pectin.  Bring the jam mixture to a boil for 1 minute.

When the jam seems ready, test it for doneness.  Remove the saucer from the freezer.  Test the consistency of the jam by placing a spoonful of the mixture onto the cold plate.  Return the plate to the freezer for two minutes.  Remove the plate again, and check the consistency of the jam. The jam is set when it holds its shape on the cool plate. If it seems loose, continue cooking over medium-low heat until set.

Fill prepared jars with the jam mixture.  Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth and place lids on the jars.

Place the closed jars in a large pot of hot water, covered by 2 inches. Bring the water to a full boil and boil for 10 minutes, then transfer the jars onto a thick towel to let cool. Leave them undisturbed for 24 hours. Check to make sure that all lids have sealed by pressing on the center of the lid. If the lid moves, place the jar in the refrigerator.

Makes 3 half-pint jars

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