Just because there isn't any sunshine outside, doesn't mean that I can't try and bottle some inside. On Friday's market, there were boxes of fresh apricots for sale, so I bought some and decided to try and make jam with them today. I didn't have quite enough for my recipe (one kilo) so I added some peaches to make up the quantities. They looked so pretty once chopped and stewing the in pan with sugar and water.
I tried to take a shot of them at a rolling boil, but my camera lens steamed up.....which amused me...
You have to add a muslin bag of the apricot stones (for the pectin, to help the jam set). I didn't have any muslin so I used a scrap of linen instead.
The house fills with a sweet, syrupy scent. Once setting point is reached, it's time to use up some of the jam jar mountain in the garage. I sterilise them by washing with hot soapy water and then popping in the oven for half an hour.
Then comes the nice bit, potting up and labelling the jars. I recently bought an amazing old printing set from ebay. I saw one on a lovely blog called The Cloth Shed, and rushed straight to ebay to see if there might be a similar one for sale. I found a 'buy it now' for a reasonable price, and snapped it up. It's called The Silent Salesman, originally produced for corner shops, I think, and it just makes printing labels a lot more fun.
This jam tastes of summer. I have a load of gooseberries in the garden, they seem to grow anywhere and against all odds. Strawberry and gooseberry jam is a family favourite, so that is next on the list.