Thursday, 1 August 2013

Simply take some apricots and lavender......


I am cross with myself for not bringing a box of apricots back home with me from our recent holiday in France, especially after discovering how simple it is to make la confiture d'abricot the 'French way' from Perpetua. I have seen recipes which suggest putting a split vanilla pod in the mix, or some lemon juice, and even boiling up several of the apricot stones, cracking them to release the kernel then chopping them into the jam. 
However, life is too short and Perpetua's recipe comes from the book "L'Armoire à Confitures by Laurent Dutheil and Jane Glyn Phillips, so if it is good enough for them, and it is highly recommended by Perpetua, then it will certainly do me. The ingredients are simply apricots and sugar absolutely nothing else. I got some apricots very cheaply in Asda for £3.20 per kilo.
 
I was then tempted to make some Lavender Vinegar by the artistically presented Hwit Blog.  So why not make some whilst the lavender is still in flower for sprinkling on your salads. Simply two ingredients again - two garlic cloves and the flowers from 10/12 lavender heads added to white wine vinegar.
The garlic clove above is one of those very large single headed garlic - a bargain from Lidl; you get a little woven basket full of them often for less than a pound. I shall just use two chunky slices from this one.
Both the Apricot jam and the Lavender vinegar require the ingredients to be added to them and then simply wait.
Once stoned, I used a kilo of halved and quartered apricots (mine were very large) then left them covered under a snowy mountain of 750g of sugar and 18 hours later here they are ready for some gently cooking - this is called macerating them - the sugar has vanished and the juice extracted.
18 hours after adding the flower heads and garlic to the white wine vinegar it turns this delicate pink. Leave this for a few days and then decant into your glass salad vessel.
Bring the macerated apricots gently to the boil as above, then simmer slowly for 20 mins - bottle the jam in pre-heated jars. For more details of the recipe see the top bar of Perpetua's blog here.
Thank you Perpetua........................simply delicious
P.S This method can also be used with other fruits. 
Same measurements 1 kilo fruit + 750g sugar
Raspberries and other fragile fruits - macerate 8 hours
Strawberries - 10 hours +juice of 3 lemons after maceration
Plums - 12 hours
Peaches the same as apricots. 

This French method makes a moist jam which is also delicious on ice-cream, creme fresh, and yogurt.
To form a good seal and vacuum in the jars, the French turn them upside down straight after filling the jars and leave until cool.

72 comments:

  1. Gorgeous images and I could not agree more about apricot jam, fruit and sugar, nothing else. Well, a few jars with a shot of Cognac, just for spoils. ;-)

    Vienna has the Wachau Danube Valley close by, famous for its very tasty Rose apricots.

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    1. I hope you have made yourself some jam with the rose apricots Merisi.

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  2. Lovely pics. I'm not a fan of apricots but will definitely try the Lavender Vinegar.

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    1. Dear Marina - this very simple French method can also be used with other fruits too. It makes a more runny jam, but lovely for putting on ice cream, creme fresh, and yogurt too.
      Same measurements 1 kilo fruit + 750g sugar
      Raspberries and other fragile fruits - macerate 8 hours
      Strawberries - 10 hours +juice of 3 lemons after maceration
      Plums - 12 hours
      Peaches the same as apricots.

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  3. Glad it worked for you, Rosemary. :-) Your photographs are wonderful, especially that of the macerating apricots. What camera do you use?

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    1. I am now ready to make some strawberry jam using the same method whilst they are so cheap in the shops.
      Perpertua I only have the most simple of cameras - nothing special - a point and shoot Sony Cybershot which I think is now out of date.
      I should really get a better camera as it is hopeless for taking birds, but the bigger cameras cannot be popped in your pocket like mine. I do like to have it with me all of the time just in case........

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  4. This looks so tasty Rosemary! Apricots, a delicious summer fruit.

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    1. I am sure that one of your 'little helpers' would be happy to make you all some of this delicious jam.

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  5. Good Morning Rosemary, you make this look easy. I have not canned anything in twenty five years. The apricots look delicious. I think your whimsical dishes are pretty too. Olive

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    1. Dear Olive - it looks easy because it is. Just prepare, then leave, and then cook - if it was complicated or difficult it would not be for me.

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  6. Dear Rosemary, I was one day too soon. My recipe calls for thickener which I really don't like to use. I will try your recipe next time. Still have plums and peaches ripening on my trees. So your recipes came just in time because I also like my preserves slightly runny...it soaks into the toast and makes for a wonderful treat, as you say on yogurt, ice cream, pancakes and waffles. ox, Gina

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    1. Dear Gina - glad you will use the French style recipe - with it being simply fruit and sugar you know what is in it. By the way the French turn their jars upside down to cool immediately after you have filled them, this makes a perfect vacuum.

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  7. All looks so yummy and pretty - and I know tastes amazing! I make my fig jam this way too, but add finely chopped lemon peel (big pieces can remain tough) and sometimes a few jars with some chopped candied ginger which is tasty. I love fresh apricots but they are always very expensive here on the east coast - I recently saw them in the orchards of northern Calif. and wanted to jump out of the car and pick a bushel or two!

    Lavender vinegar, so pretty, I must give that a go too.

    Thanks for sharing Rosemary, your pics are inviting to say the least. My kitchen calls!
    Hugs - Mary

    P.S. My two fig trees are loaded this year - hopefully once they ripen I can gather the harvest before the birds
    and squirrels move in!

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    1. I have lots of figs on my tree too, but I have never thought about making them into jam - perhaps I should try. I usually put stilton cheese in the middle of them, wrap them in pancetta and then cook - serve with a green salad and balsamic vinegar as a starter.

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  8. Dear Rosemary, No one has ever called me a cook, let alone a good one, but your recipes are not only inviting for the visuals, but also because they're simple. You might make a kitchen convert out of me yet!

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    1. Dear Mark - I am not a slave to the kitchen or to cooking, but if a recipe is tasty, looks attractive and above all is quick and simple then that is for me.

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  9. Nothing better than apricot jam and yours looks so beautiful. Where I live good apricots are difficult to come by and are very expensive. So I just buy the jars at the market. I should plant a tree!

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    1. Apricots are very expensive here, but the ones I got at Asda were really cheap - I think Asda is Wallmart in the States. An apricot tree in the garden would be wonderful.

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  10. That does look so good, I've just made some (not quite as posh!) gooseberry jam from the huge amount we have. I love the 'old king cole' set. Suzy x

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    1. I love gooseberries in any shape or form, they are a lovely flavour.
      The Old King Cole set is one of my collection of children's vintage nursery bone china from the days when little people sat down and had a refined afternoon tea.
      Suzy - there was an item in these photos that I had imagined you would recognise immediately if you did look but you haven't mentioned it!!!

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    2. Oh, my goodness me Rosemary, I was so caught up with your wonderful creation that I didn't notice the glass bowl! It looks so sweet with the lavender in it.xx

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  11. What a gorgeous post! Photos, ideas and recipe. Great!

    Really Beautiful!

    Marina

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    1. This recipe is perfect for you Marina - I used Spanish apricots.

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  12. Heleen my DIL makes apricot jam from her apricots at the farm every year.. I am usually lucky to get a couple of jars.. apricot jam is my favorite of all jams. The dutch are very into preserving. Her mother preserves figs , and all sorts of things. There are about 12 apricot trees at Alfange. She also blanches them..and puts some in the deep freeze.. for cooking ..
    When i was younger I made plum and strawberry jam. My mum also was a great jam maker.
    I read Perpetua's post on her jam.. it really looks good and by the look of that scone Rosemary.. I am sorry i am not around to join in..
    I use lavender for cooking too. old recipies..
    enjoyed reading the way you did yours..

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    1. This apricot jam is not doing H and I much good, figure wise, but delicious. We are getting into the habit of having an apricot jam scone served with our afternoon cup of tea - just one scone between us though.

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  13. What a great first picture, the colours and the composition. Top.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Thanks Filip - kind of you to say so.

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  14. yummy yummy, that looks delicious.
    The scone in the last picture... I love too eat it...mmmm....

    Greetings,
    Inge, my choice

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    1. I must admit that it is rather moorish - we have to limit ourselves to one half scone each per day.

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  15. Hello Rosemary--Are you allowed to bring fruit from France to England?

    I do love apricots, and this has been a great year for them. I even tried two new kinds, some purple ones, and some white ones that are super-sweet and flavorful even when they are still green. Your jam looks delicious, and apricot jam is also especially good for baking with.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Dear Jim - there is no problem with fruit, vegetables or plants within the European Economic Community (EEC).
      I have never seen or heard of purple or white apricots - if you can buy them cheap then do make some of this easy jam.
      You are right it is lovely for layering a sponge cake, and how about some cream on another layer too.

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  16. Both receipts look both delicious and attractive to the eye! My lavender is just coming into bloom, so I would love to try the lavender vinegar. It would work a treat on my daily salad, I suspect.

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    1. Wait until the flowers are open, they pull off very easily.

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  17. Those apricots look so delicious! Then your Apricot jam with the Devon creme looks yummy too with the tea. I haven't tried lavender vinegrette but I bet it must smell and taste so good.

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    1. We have to restrict ourselves to one half scone each per afternoon as it is very delicious.

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  18. Looks delicious! I love apricots. Lavenders' scent is so lovely... Happy weekend, Rosemary!

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    1. It is a lovely way to preserve the apricots, and hopefully still have some through the winter months.

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  19. I'm going to try the recipe with peaches. At the moment we've been enjoying them fresh since they are in good supply.

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    1. Peaches and nectarines are very reasonable at the moment and a good choice to make the jam with. Good luck.

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  20. Those apricots look lovely. You have been busy :)

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    1. I now feel a fraud because it took no effort at all - simply macerate and forget for 18 hours, and then quickly cook - very simple.

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  21. I prepare my jams almost the same way, fruits, sugar and a little lemon juice at the end. Gorgeous colours - the jam and the vinegar !!!

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    1. Thanks Dani - it tastes as good as it looks.

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  22. It's really so easy to make jam isn't it? But I've never made apricot jam come to think of it. No Asda here, we did visit there twice in Wales though, such different foods compared to the shops here, something I love about vacation as well, the everyday thing like cooking and grocery shopping but in an other environment, trying out other things. But I'm sure I'll be able to find some reasonably priced apricots around here. I will try this recipe. Don't have any lavender in the garden though so I'll have to pass on that.
    Thanks for the recipes! Oh, and for the explanation about the flag. I should have come to you immediately!
    Marian

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    1. I hope that you can find some apricots Marian - should not be too difficult as they are in season at the moment. I warn you now it is delicious and very moorish.

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  23. Can you see my mouth watering right now? About to have lunch, but life is short so I'll have dessert first. Make that vanilla ice cream with Rosemary's home made apricot jam :) Mmmmmmm!!!

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    1. Must not be eaten too frequently Loi - although delicious it is loaded with calories.

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  24. Both of these recipes look so good and ones I will be trying. I haven't heard of the method of turning the jars upside down to seal them.
    Sarah x

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    1. The first jar we opened made a substantial pop when it was opened so it definitely works and is a useful technique to know about.

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  25. I love your photos! The only trouble is that I've been buying Morrison's delicious small,sweet apricots and they don't hang around long enough to be made into jam!

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  26. Wonderful! I will be looking for apricots on my next visit to the grocery store. Lovely photos!! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Dear Gina - if you have an Asda near by they are the cheapest that I have found.
      By the way I hope you read this comment. I have tried to comment on your blog, but find I cannot now that you are in Google+.

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  27. Hello Rosemary

    Apricots and lavender this sounds delicious. Peaches are ripe in Ontario and they are delicious. Thanks for the recipe
    Helenxx

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    1. Peach jam would be just as delicious Helen. Is Ontario your home or Florida Helen?

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  28. Love the lavender and garlic in the wonderful bowl. You have so many talents!

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    1. Thanks Janey for your visit and kind comment.

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  29. Looks yummy! I adore apricots. The lavender vinegar looks interesting. I have some lavender growing in my garden, but I haven't done anything with it. Thanks for the tips.

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    1. It is like putting a little bit of sunshine in a jar to enjoy during the winter.

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  30. Hello Rosemary,
    I don't have much confidence in the kitchen, but these little recipes are right for me; flavourful, colourful and super simple, thank you for the culinary inspiration.

    Love, love, love Kitty Kielland's art. Imagine her at her easel, in your garden painting your beautiful flowers.
    Always a real pleasure to catch up.
    Anyes
    xx

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    1. Do give it a try Anyes - most of the work is done whilst it is macerating alone, requiring no attention or intervention at all.
      I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing Kitty's work - I am on a mission to bring more women painters to my blog.

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  31. That looks too good not to do. Have you made lavender sugar? again very simple, just combine lavender flowers and caster sugar, and leave. Nice for making cakes.

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    1. I have made lavender sugar and used it for biscuits - again a very simple and flavoursome thing to do.

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  32. Ocet mnie zainteresował, ale morele wolę surowe, a nie dżem z nich. Uroczo pokazałaś na zdjęciach prace przy przetworach, Pozdrawiam.
    Vinegar interested me, but I prefer raw apricots and jam is not one of them. Delightfully you show the pictures work on the preparations. Yours.

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    1. Można również umieścić kwiaty lawendy w cukier, który nadaje mu piękny zapach, który może być używany przy wypieku ciast i ciastek.

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  33. Just popping by to tell I used your recipe to make jam from peaches today(after mascerating). Smelled wonderful in the kitchen en looks delicious. Can't wait for breakfast ;) Thanks again for sharing Rosemary.

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    1. Hope that by now you will have enjoyed it Marian.

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  34. I adore apricot jam, can eat it with a spoon like nutella:-))) but usually the apricots not last solong, I finish them fresh;
    First I thought u added somelavender to the apricot jam? have u ever tried this? I adore strawberry jam with vanilla! apricot could fit well with lavender...next project?:-))happy new week!

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    1. The apricot jam is delicious I must admit, and it is disappearing rapidly. I know what you mean about eating it with a spoon, but need to restrain myself. Yes, lavender would probably be an interesting addition. Lovely to hear from you.

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  35. I vaguely remember this method and am happy to be reminded of it. Have you tried lavender jelly? We have it as an occasional treat with organic lamb sausages from a local farm. It is a delicious combination.

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    1. I like the sound of lavender jelly - I must look up a recipe - I like Rosemary with lamb, lavender sounds as if it would also be a perfect combination.

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