Friday, July 10, 2020


This amber beauty is a cross between a jam and a typical conserve, and its charm lays in the large pieces of fruit. Because there is almost no stirring, many of the apricot halves will remain almost intact. Yes, some will break down, especially if they are really ripe, but the majority will still be in one piece. It is simply divine on toast, pancakes, or just enjoyed with a tiny spoon.
The vanilla will help deepen the flavour of the conserve, especially the longer it stands, and the whole lemon slices will brighten it up and add a layer of tanginess to it. And as an addition, it will make the jars look very decorative and nice.
Keep in mind that apricots are naturally a bit lower in pectin, and because the conserve is cooked relatively shortly, the finished conserve will not be of the thickness of the common jams. However, it is a perfect chocolate cake filling, especially because of its somewhat thinner consistency, as it will just simply melt into the cake layers.

Apricot lemon conserve |

1 kilogram ripe apricots, stones removed
2 teaspoons baking soda
600 grams granulated sugar
320 millilitres cold water
¼ vanilla bean
1 large lemon

Wash the apricots and remove any imperfections, then tear them in half, remove the stones, and place them in a large, non-reactive pot. Pour enough cold water to cover them fully, sprinkle in the baking soda, mix well, and let them stand in the water for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, take a wide, heavy-bottomed pot, and pour in the cold water. Add in the sugar, and place the pot over high heat. Bring it to a boil, and cook, without stirring, for 4 minutes, or until thickened to a consistency of honey. Drain the apricots, and add them to the sugar syrup carefully. Add in the scraped seeds form a vanilla bean, and shake the pot well. Gently stir the fruit to distribute it, but not after this point in cooking. However, do remove any foam that comes to the top while it is cooking.
Reduce the heat to medium high, and shake the pot from time to time, letting the fruit level itself in the sugar syrup. Because there is only a kilogram of fruit, the cooking process is quick. While the fruit is cooking, thoroughly wash the lemon, slice it into thin slices, and remove any pips. After about 30 minutes of gentle bubbling, the conserve should be thickened. Add in the whole lemon slices on top, and cook for 5 more minutes. Check for setting point either with a thermometer (105°C), or by using the saucer test. If the conserve is setting and ready, remove the pot from the heat, and let it cool down for about 10 minutes. Carefully arrange the lemon slices in each of the prepared sterilised jars, pour in the fruit, seal them, and let them cool down to room temperature. Store it in the refrigerator for best possible taste and longer shelf life. Yields 1 kilogram of conserve.

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