Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cranberry, apricot and pineapple jam.

laundry etc
Makes 1.3Kg (5 x 1/2pt jars)

1 med size pineapple, approx 1100g (2 1/2lbs) in weight or a 432g (15oz) tin crushed pineapple in juice
150g (5oz) dried apricots
300g (1x 12oz pack) fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
450g (1lb) sugar
apricot brandy (optional)

Prepare the pineapple; slice off the top and base and pare away the skin.
Chop down through the centre lengthways and cut into 4, then remove the woody core.
Slice the flesh into chunks then pulse in a food processor to give a fine texture.
Pour into a sieve over a bowl and collect the juice that drips through.
With my 1100g pineapple, this gave me 280g (10oz) pulp and 200ml (7 fl oz) of juice. (You don’t need to be spot on here just aim for approximately that amount.)
Chop the apricots into small even pieces and place in a bowl with 200ml (7 fl oz) of boiling water plus the pineapple juice and leave to soak for several hours or overnight.
If you plan to can (water process) your jam, prepare the water bath and jars and place jar seals in a pan of hot water on the hob.
Alternatively, prepare clean jars by sterilising them in a low oven, keeping them warm till needed.
Place the cranberries, apricots, crushed pineapple and soaking juices in a preserving pan.
Add another 200ml (7 fl oz) water and cook gently for approximately 20 minutes, until the cranberries have started to pop and the mixture combines and takes on a ruby glow.
Remove from heat for 5 minutes then add the sugar.
Stir over a gentle heat until completely dissolved, then up the heat and bring to a rolling boil, taking great care that it doesn’t burn.
It only takes 5-10 minutes before you can see the texture is thickened and a small blob on a cold plate will hold its shape.
Turn off the heat.
Leave for 5 minutes then stir in 3-5 Tbsp apricot brandy.
Pour into prepared hot jars leaving 0.5cm (1/4in) headroom, tap jars on worktop to de-bubble, clean rims and seal, then process for 10 minutes.
Remove jars from water bath and leave until completely cold before testing the seals.
Alternatively, pot the hot jam into clean hot jars and seal then store in the fridge when cold.

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