We love stone fruit season here at TT. And nothing beats a crisp piece of toast slathered with a hit of peach jam or preserves. So we decided to make our own—the TT way. Ripe apricots are cooked down with cardamom, ginger and lemon juice for a sweet and bright preserve to keep summer going all year round.
When using juicy stone fruits to make preserves, let the fruit marinate in sugar to pull out the natural juices. Once reduced to a syrup, this liquid becomes the gel that the fruit is suspended in, which is key for cooking the preserves to the right consistency. Pro tip: Drizzle the preserves on a cold plate that’s been in the freezer to test the viscosity of the liquid for readiness.
To learn more, read “Jam Session.”
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus macerating and cooling time
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes, plus macerating and cooling time
3 pounds (14 medium) apricots—peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cardamom seeds
1-inch ginger knob, peeled and diced
2 sterilized pint jars with lids and rims
1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well to thoroughly coat the fruit. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
2. After 2 hours, strain the liquid (you should have 3¼ cups) and transfer to a heavy-bottomed saucepan, like a 6-quart Dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat until the liquid reads 220º on a candy thermometer, 8 minutes. Add the strained fruit and continue to cook, stirring often until the fruit is suspended in the liquid and the mixture has reduced down to 4 cups, 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Divide the preserves between 2 mason jars, pressing the mixture down until there is only about ½ inch of space left at the top of each jar. Wipe the rim then affix the lid on each jar.
4. Bring a stockpot filled with water to a boil. Make sure there is enough water for the jars to be completely submerged. Arrange the jars on a wire rack and lower into the water. Boil the jars for about 15 minutes.
5. Carefully remove the jars and let them cool to room temperature on a folded towel, making sure not to disturb the lids. Check the seal after 24 hours; they should not flex when pressed in the center. The preserves will keep for up to 1 year.