Sunday, August 10, 2014

Apricot Habanero Jam

This spicy apricot jam is fabulous with some cheddar or cream cheese on crackers or toast, but our favorite way to enjoy it is as a glaze and/or topping on pork chops. 

This week we are Saving Summer with lots of great recipes that take advantage of nature’s bounty during the growing season and extend its use into fall and winter. Farmers’ markets and roadside stands are redolent with summer produce, if you are fortunate enough to live or visit some place that’s not hotter than the hinges of the gates of hell right now. 

As much as I love Dubai, there is no other way to describe our summer heat index. Just recently, though, I was able to visit the island of Jersey in the English Channel and I was practically skipping with joy to buy eggs and Jersey Royal potatoes at roadside stands. It’s all on the honor system. You just take what you need and drop the money in the box!
Photo credit: Glenys Claverie

Here in Dubai, the farmers’ markets close for the summer but fresh produce is flown in from everywhere around the world. These apricots were from Lebanon, if I remember correctly. I try to buy those items that have traveled the least distances.

Make sure you scroll on down to the bottom and check out all the lovely recipes and “how-to” instructions we have for you this week. And many thanks to my co-host, Tara, from Noshing with the Nolands. She’ll be leading the Saving Summer Twitter chat this evening so be sure to join in!

2 lbs or 910g fresh apricots
1 small habanero
3 1/2 cups or 700g sugar, divided
Half pack pectin - Just less than 1 oz or about 25g (I use the Sure-Jell brand and the box says 1.75oz or 49g.)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
 1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice, most pulp

3-4 clean, sterilized jam jars
Wide-mouth funnel for filling jars

N.B. Make sure your jars and lids are thoroughly sterilized because this quick canning method does not require a hot water bath or pressure cooking. If you have any doubts whatsoever, store the jam in the refrigerator once cooled.

Halve your apricots and remove the pits. Pull the stem off of your habanero and discard it.

In a large pot, heat your apricots with the habanero, 3 cups or 600g of the sugar, the sea salt and the lemon and orange juices.

Cook over a low to medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming any white foam that forms around the top. The apricots and habanero should start falling apart and turning to pulp.

Get your jars ready for filling by lining them up on some paper towels (to catch the inevitable drips onto your countertop) and inserting a metal teaspoon into each one. A wide-mouth funnel will make this so much easier! Put the funnel into the first jar, at the ready.

Meanwhile, mix your pectin with the remaining half cup or 100g of sugar.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool for just a few minutes. Use your hand blender to puree the mixture to your desired consistency.

Return the pot to the heat and add in the sugar/pectin mixture. Mix well and bring the pot to a full rolling bowl for at least a minute.

Ladle the boiling hot jam into the clean jars, moving the funnel along as you go. Do be careful not to splash jam on yourself.

I completely missed taking a picture at this stage so here's one from when I made tomato chutney for Sunday Supper. Pretend this is apricot habanero jam. :) Same process.

Remove the teaspoons and screw the lids on the jars very tightly, using a towel to hold the jars and turn the lids, starting with jar one. When you get to jar three or four, start over at number one, trying to tighten them all just a little more.

Turn the jars upside down so that the hot jam further sterilizes the insides of your clean lids.

Leave the jars upside down until the jam has completely cooled, which could take several hours. Turn the jars upright and check that the center button on the lids have popped in, if your lids have those. Any jars whose buttons have not popped in should be stored in the refrigerator as this means the seal is not good and bacteria could get in. If this jam lasts that long. :) I could eat it with a spoon.


Garden growing overtime? Fruit and veg box overflowing? Can't resist the local produce at the farmers' market? Then this is the Sunday Supper for you!

Learn how to …

Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies

Scoop up special salsas and sauces

Jump into jellies, jams and preserves

Pucker up for pickles

Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish

Dive into divine desserts

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