Well, it has been a very long time since I have written a post for this poor little blog but sadly it is so easy to just do a quick post to Facebook or Instagram so I have been lazy and let it go at that. Lately I have been asked by several people, "How did you do that?" or "Can I have a copy of that recipe?" and I love that because I LOVE to share things that work for me! I have been experimenting a lot in the kitchen, with my art and other various creative outlets that truly feed my soul, and to be honest I have really missed it! So... I am going to take this opportunity to try to get my poop in a group and get back into the blogosphere with some consistent posting. Maybe I will inspire even just one person to try something new! :)
My most recent inquiry was to share my recipe for Apricot Jalapeno Jam, which I came up with at the request of my friend, Melony. I found a few online ideas and then tweaked and taste tested and finally came up with my own, so that is what I am sharing today.
This jam does taste great on English muffins or toast, but it is really awesome for cooking recipes that call for apricot preserves when you want to add a little kick to it. I will share a few of those later down the road. :)
Hope someone will try this recipe, and if so let me know how it turns out. Enjoy!
Apricot Jalapeno Jam
6 cups pitted, finely chopped fresh apricots
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
3 seeded, finely chopped jalapeno peppers (you can add an extra if you want it realllly spicy!)
1/2 tsp butter (this reduces foaming!)
4 1/2 cups of sugar
1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin (low sugar in the pink box; see photo below!)
10 half pint canning jars with lids and rings
small pan of water
long handled spoon
2 cup glass measuring cup (for pouring jam into jars)
wide mouth funnel
magnetic lid grabber
several dry kitchen towels
several damp kitchen towels
Before I start any of the cooking process I stage some things because once you start cooking, there is not much time to do anything else, so this is really a 2 person recipe. I place all my jars on the top rack of my dishwasher to run them through the wash/sanitize cycle, and I time it so they are heat drying as I am finishing the cooking process. I put the lids in the pan of water but do not turn on until later in the process. These are a couple of my sealing tricks so that I do not have to put them back in a heat bath after pouring and putting lids on.
Place the chopped apricots in the pan and add the lemon juice.
Place chopped jalapenos into a food processer. Remove a cup of the apricot mixture from the pot and add it to the food processer with the jalapenos. Mix until smooth and pour back into the large pot.
Measure out and pour sugar into a large bowl. Pour pectin in a smaller bowl and remove 1/4 cup of sugar from the larger bowl to add to the pectin.
**NOTE: I use the Sure Jell pectin in the pink box because it is a reduced sugar pectin. You must not reduce the sugar measurement or this can result in setting failure.
Pour the small bowl of sugar/pectin mixture into the large pot of apricot mixture. Add butter and bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, (this is a boil that doesn't stop when stirring). While this is occurring, turn small pan of lids on high heat to come to a boil.
Stir in remaining sugar and return to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute. While you are doing this, your 2nd person should be removing the jars from the heated dishwasher and and placing them on the dry towels. The 2nd person will also remove the small pan of lids and place at to the left of the jars on the dry towels.
Remove fruit from heat and use glass measuring cup to immediately pour into the hot jars using the wide mouth funnel. The 2nd person will be responsible for wiping the jar rims and threads with the wet towel, using the magnet lid grabber to remove the lid from the water and place on the jars. Put the ring on, tighten, and immediately flip jar upside down to seal, (this is where the wet towel comes in handy because these jars are hot!) Leave them upside down until the lids seal, (about 30-40 minutes) and then you can label and put away.
This recipe usually yields about 9 full jars and a partial jar, which I usually do not worry about sealing so we can use it right away. The experts say that apricot jam can take longer to set than berries, (up to 2 weeks) but this has not been my experience thus far and we have eaten as soon as that evening.