After almost ten days of being sick and stressed I finally managed to pick myself up and get going. Nothing is more therapeutic than cooking/backing something and as summer fruits are in abundance I picked up two of my favorites to indulge in and make preserves. I find the market products too sweet. I love my preserves a little tart and flavorful. So I picked up fruits which were firm and tart and yet had those delicate flavours. Some people may find a boiling pot of sugar and fruits a little too much on a hot summer noon but the aroma and the colors of summer captured in a nicely bottled preserve can cheer you up any time.
I have a weakness for apricots and once they cook, the luscious fruit tuns the color of golden summer sun and tastes fantastic. A little hard, a little bruised apricots would do too for this recipe. They need not be perfect. I use a mix of firm and soft ripe fruit to bring out the sweet and tangy flavours.
As for plums , I decided to do a cross between jam and preserve and kept the skin on the fruits. Again picked up some firm and soft mix fruit as I prefer the tart flavour. Discarded the pits for both fruits though some people crack them open and use the kernel. I don’t.
Recipe for Apricot Preserve :
1/2 Kg – Apricots
1 Cup Granulated Sugar (depends on sweetness of the fruits and your liking)
1/2 Cup Water
Juice of lemon – Two table-spoon
Wash the fruit carefully and rip it open in two halves. Discard the stone.
Take a bowl and place the halves in it.
Add the sugar and mix it well so that it coats the fruit completely .
Keep it covered for an hour or till the sugar dissolve a bit.
Keep a heavy bottom pan on medium flame and add the fruit mixture to it.
Add a little water to cover the fruit and bring it to boil.
Let it boil for one minute on high flame .
Keep stirring so that the mixture doesn’t burn.
Lower the flame and remove any froth or scum that forms on the top.
When the fruit starts to fall apart add juice of lemon.
Keep stirring till the mixture thickens.
Take a set test – Chill a plate in the freezer. Once you think the mixture is thick enough for the preserve consistency drop a teaspoonful on the chilled plate and place it back in the freezer. After a few minutes take it out and check , if a crinkly skin forms on THE preserve when pushed it is done otherwise boil it for another five minutes and text again.
Once done, let it cool to room temperature and then fill it in the jar. Make sure to stir it so that no air gaps are formed.
Seal it when still warm and label it when cooled.
Enjoy this delicious preserve on bagels, toasts, biscuits, parfait or just lick it from the spoon. 🙂
Plum Preserve Recipe :
1/2 Kg Red Plums
1 Cup Granulated Sugar ( according to the sweetness of fruit and your liking)
Lemon zest – 1/2 teaspoon
Lemon Juice – 1 Table spoon
Cinnamon – 1/4 inch stick
Water – 1/2 cup ( just enough to cover the fruit)
Wash and wipe the plums.
Split them in halves and discard the stone.
Keep the skin on.
In a deep bowl layer fruit and sugar so that the plums are entirely covered.
Keep the fruit for an hour or till the sugar dissolves a bit.
Take a heavy bottom pan and pour the content into the pan along with cinnamon stick and lemon zest.
Stir it on medium flame and bring it to boil.
Let it boil on high flame for a minute or two. Keep stirring to avoid burning.
Lower the flame and let it simmer.
When the fruit softens a bit add lemon juice and remove any scum that forms on the top.
Let the mixture thicken and then do the set test as described in previous recipe.
Once the preserve sets to the right consistency remove it from heat and let it cool at room temperature.
Remove the cinnamon stick and bottle it while still warm.
Label when cool.
Use it on toasts, bagels, biscuits, parfait or in any way you like.
Hope you like these simple recipes. Do let me know your experience if you make them.