Speedy Apricot Jam

2 Jun

Ready to enjoy!

A visit to Málaga a few days ago to sort out some paperwork also led us through the backstreets to the old market, which has been beautifully restored.  Sadly, I didn´t have my camera with me to show you the stalls beautifully laid out with fruit, vegetables, fish and meat.

Sadly too, some of the fruit, when we got home, was not as lovely as it had promised to be.  I think the best stuff was “up front” and the bags of non regular shoppers were filled with the less than top quality produce from the back.

Hey ho, squashed and not so fruity tasting fruit lends itself to jam making, and making it in small quantities is also fun.  It´s quick, you don´t feel obliged to give away most of what you made to friends and family, and you get to have a wide selection of different flavoured jams in the despensa (that´s the larder to you and me)!

After tasting a few apricots and deciding that they weren´t up to that much, I stoned the rest and chopped them roughly and was left with 500g of fruit in weight.  I added 300g of sugar and the juice of one lemon and put into a deep pan.

Start the jam off at a low temperature until the sugar has dissolved.  The turn the heat up and get it bubbling, but making sure that it doesn´t boil over.  Cleaning cold, set jam off your cooker is no fun at all. 

Bubbling Away

Keep it bubbling away for about 10 minutes.  Don´t get distracted or walk away!  If you have a jam thermometer, do use it, it saves having to reboil the jam later if it doesn´t set.  Otherwise you can drop a spoonful of jam onto a saucer which you have previously placed in the freezer.  When the jam cools on the saucer you push it slightly – if it wrinkles, it´s at setting point.  If not, boil a little longer then repeat.

Sometimes you can just go with instinct, and even if it doesn´t set, runny jam tastes just as good.

Now you need to leave the jam to cool down a little for 5-10 minutes so that when you pour it into still warm, sterilized jars (I run mine through the dishwasher to do this), the fruit will not float to the top.

Seal the jars while they are still hot and this will keep (although I doubt you´ll be able to resist!) for at least a year.  Now, where´s that loaf of bread?



27 Responses to “Speedy Apricot Jam”

  1. Vegetable gardening June 2, 2011 at 10:21 #

    Now that jam looks good. Have you ever made strawberry jam? I am going to have to make some this year.

    • chicaandaluza June 2, 2011 at 10:42 #

      HI there and thanks for stopping by! Yes, I have made strawberry jam but find that I need to add pectin (if you can get hold of it) or the pith of lemons plus about the same quantity of sugar to fruit to get it to set. Otherwise, it works in the same way! I tend to keep my strwaberries in quite big chunks too as that´s how I like my jam. Let me know how it goes. Ok, am off to check out your blog now!

  2. thecompletecookbook June 2, 2011 at 10:33 #

    How disappointing that the fruit was not what you were expecting to eat fresh but how wonderful that you could turn it into this fabulous jam! Wish I could send you a couple of slices of my sandwich loaf for you to enjoy with your jam. Better yet, I would bring it to you and we could enjoy it together with a nice cup of tea.
    🙂 Mandy

    • chicaandaluza June 2, 2011 at 10:44 #

      Now the idea of sitting down together with your bread, my jam and a cuppa sounds wonderful! I do get annoyed when markets fob me off with not great fruit or veg sometimes. Can´t be good for repeat business for them. Hope you´re having a good day. It´s pouring here…where is the summer?

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 2, 2011 at 10:48 #

    Oh that looks wonderful. I don’t see fresh apricots here much, but this makes me want to seek them out.

    • chicaandaluza June 2, 2011 at 13:59 #

      What a shame you can´t get apricots – how about peaches? They´d work just as well (I know, we got a lot round here, and it turns out wonderfully).!

      • Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 2, 2011 at 14:10 #

        Oh boy can I get peaches. In another month. I’m sure I can find apricots, just not sure if they’ll be affordable! Or good quality.

      • chicaandaluza June 2, 2011 at 14:12 #

        Yes, we´ll get peaches here soon. A nearby village (called Periana) even has a fiesta dedicated to them which is fantastic!. Having just been “tag surfing” and feel like I am your stalker – think we´re looking at the same foodie posts this afternoon as I seem to keep stumbling across your comments!

  4. thefooddoctor June 2, 2011 at 15:57 #

    I have some less than perfect fruit my husband bought yesterday..you just answered the question:
    what am I supposed to do with them?

    • chicaandaluza June 2, 2011 at 17:03 #

      Good idea! Or a delicious fruit crumble – am trying to lose weight and all I can do at the moment is dream about desserts!

  5. chaiselongue1 June 2, 2011 at 17:48 #

    That looks wonderful! Apricots don’t travel at all well, and I spent a while picking out some nice ones in our market yesterday because most of them were damaged. I wouldn’t mind buying bruised ones for jam-making, except that they were the same price as the good ones! Some years we’re lucky and get given apricots by friends who have fruit trees….fingers crossed!

    • chicaandaluza June 2, 2011 at 17:54 #

      It´s true, they´re so delicate – lucky you if you get given some. Maybe, if the sun finally comes out (it´s been raining here too) we could try dried apricots! I do usually make sun dried tomatoes to see me through the winter but I despair at the moment of ever starting to do them.

  6. trevorhunt June 2, 2011 at 19:02 #

    The jam looks lovely. We got given a jar of strawberry jam at the weekend. He said it was difficult to get it to set but it was still delicious. Malaga…ah, we saw Richard Hawley in concert there. Bloody brilliant!

    • chicaandaluza June 3, 2011 at 08:10 #

      Strawberry jam is so delicious, but such a pain to get it to set as the fruit has so little natural pectin. I get my mum to send me over sachets of pectin powder from the UK for when I make jam like this. Works a treat! Ok, so I had to look up who Richard Hawley is, you´re clearly much trendier than me! Think I´d have enjoyed the concert as I liked his stuff with Jarvis Cocker. Ooh, listen to us, funky gardeners that we are!

      • trevorhunt June 5, 2011 at 07:25 #

        Tanya, I urge you to listen to his music. It is…beautiful. A real genius. I can’t remember the name of the theatre…a really old one…beautiful inside…we asked for a request which he promptly gave..Dark Road…summed us up at the time while travelling round in our camper van. Met him afterwards too. Great guy and Malaga actually started to grow on us!

      • chicaandaluza June 5, 2011 at 18:46 #

        Am off to see what´s available to download – I remember him having quite a haunting voice. The theatre was probably the Cervantes in Malaga. And I know what you mean about the city – if you scratch beneath the surface and get to wander round some of the little old streets, it´s really something quite special.

  7. JamieAnne June 2, 2011 at 20:49 #

    I love homemade jam. It’s even better when it’s on homemade bread or thick Greek style yogurt.

    • chicaandaluza June 3, 2011 at 08:06 #

      Oh yes, I´d forgotten about jam with yogurt…delicious!

  8. Rachel June 5, 2011 at 18:10 #

    When’s tea? Mmmm… wow! 🙂

    • chicaandaluza June 5, 2011 at 18:44 #

      I´ll just go and put the kettle on!

      • trevorhunt June 5, 2011 at 20:18 #

        Couldn’t you just kill for a lovely English Cream Tea sometimes? Often we torture ourselves by pretending there is a National Trust tea shop just around the next headland!!!! Sad or what?!

      • chicaandaluza June 6, 2011 at 08:14 #

        Not at all sad. We can only buy long life whipping cream here which is pretty foul. I dream of clotted dream and try to work out how to get it over here! When I´m back in the UK, this is one of my treats…

  9. Olga SE June 6, 2011 at 16:23 #

    Tanya, you make me feel sorry that I have never made jam. I hope it is really as simple as you describe. This is the third of your recipes that goes into my collection. 🙂 Thank you.

    • chicaandaluza June 6, 2011 at 16:48 #

      Hi Olga. Jam making really is simple. You just need patience and a very large saucepan! Just when you think it will never reach setting point and you´re about to give up, the magic happens and you´ve made jam. I love to think that someone so far away would be cooking a version of one of my recipes 🙂 thank you!

  10. TikkTok June 13, 2011 at 21:09 #

    We had a bag gifted to us last week. I had planned on making something- preserves/jam on Saturday, but they went mushy and moldy on Friday. It is so interesting to me how easy your way is. All mine say to process in water bath for 15 minutes, so your way sounds faster.

    Truthfully, I wasn’t keen on peeling and pitting all those little buggars! I think next time I may pit them and put them in the food processor and puree and then make into jam. I need more space in the pantry, first, though. 🙂

    • chicaandaluza June 14, 2011 at 06:13 #

      Oh no, don´t peel them for sure, the skin helps the jam to set. Make space in the pantry…you won´t regret it!

      • TikkTok June 14, 2011 at 14:17 #

        Peaches are one thing to peel, but little things not so much, lololol. I have to rework the pantry. I still have my chicken stock sitting out and it’s been a while. 😆 After coop #2 gets finished, the plan is to build out the pantry into the garage, because I literally have no more space. I am not keen on filling up the garage shelving, but may have to consider it soon if the pantry addition doesn’t happen soon…. 🙂

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