Sunday, July 8, 2012

Apricot Jam, the Last Refuge From Dastardly Fungus

Contains no actual squid.
As soon as fruit drops from the tree, or is otherwise removed, a 24-esque countdown begins in which I, intrepid cook, must use the fruit before other interested parties do.

I could tell that, nearly 5 days after receiving a 15 pound box of apricots in unusual (for San Francisco) heat and humidity, my options were becoming limited and time short.

I chucked out the obviously molding fruit, leaving few mushy or bruised fruit behind as my application would forgive these flaws.

Of 15 pounds, perhaps 4 pounds remained, maybe 5. Halved, pits removed, they filled 2/3rd of my 13-quart stock pot.

Fruit gold! (Go Giants!)
Apricot Ginger Preserves:
Yield: A metric sh*t tonne, or 5-6 quarts.
  • About 4-5 pounds of Apricots, rinsed, halved and pitted.
  • About 1 pound, or 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 table spoon of kosher salt
  • Zest of one lime
  • Zest of one Clementine
  • Seedless clementine segments
  • 1 finger of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
Macerate the apricots, ginger, lime zest in sugar, vinegar and salt for several hours covered. This will lyse the juices out of the fruit and help extract pectin, needed to gel the preserves.

Pectin is found most prevalently in citrus peels (about 30% pectin), and in smaller concentrations in stone and tree fruit (apricots, cherries, apples, pears).

Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add coriander, Clementine segments and zest, uncover and boil for another hour or hour and a half, stirring occasionally.

Slow, clear thick sugary bubbles will form on the surface. It's difficult to describe - the liquid will have reduced slightly, will appear viscous on a spatula. Be careful! This mixture is hot. Taste with a small metal spoon and allow plenty of time for liquid to cool before tasting.

The end result should be tart and not too sweet.

With butter on Acme Country Levain