Pump pump the jam


Orange’s orchards are going gangbusters this weekend all full of pickers harvesting cherries, peaches, figs and apricots. We bought four kilos of apricots from Wally Mastronardi in Borenore yesterday and wowsers they’re good. The Mastronardis only have a few rows of apricot trees, being predominantly apple and pear growers, but those they do grow are just beautiful, particularly when still warm from the sun. So aside from using them in a some sweet little honey tarts (pictured above and recipe coming on Tuesday), most of our haul was bottled this morning as apricot jam.

The kids and I had some on bread for lunch today. Not at all nutritious I know, but the bread was warm and the jam fresh and it was too good to be bad.

The bread recipe comes via the New York Times and is awesome. It requires NO KNEADING (at all), is incredibly easy and yields bread you’d be happy to pay good money for. There’s even a quick video (here) of Manhattan baker Jim Lahey making up a batch, it’s only a couple of minutes and I found it helpful. Click here for the full recipe.

Apricot Jam
1kg fresh apricots
1/2 cup water
6 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
One lemon, halved

Halve apricots, remove pips and slice halves into half again. Place these in a big saucepan with the water and cook on medium high until the fruit has softened right down. Squeeze the lemon juice into the saucepan, toss in the squeezed halves, and add sugar and the vanilla bean, scraping the seeds into the hot fruit. Place a small plate in the freezer and cook  the fruit mixture for about 5 minutes at a rolling boil. To test if it’s ready, just drop half a teaspoon-ful of the jam onto your cold plate. Let it sit a minute and then push your finger through the middle of the jam. If it wrinkles and is feeling nice and thick then it’s ready.

The jam recipe has been adapted from one by David Lebovitz. If you haven’t yet discovered David’s blog about cooking, eating and living in Paris, have a squizz here. His ice cream recipes alone are worth a visit.


  1. Hi Sophie,

    I bought more of the delicious apricots from the Mastronardi's and am going to make the jam tonight - can't wait. I'm going to give your bread a go as well. As you know I can't bake to save my life and if this works for me it will be wonderful.

  2. Hi Sophie,

    I made the jam - delicious. The apricots have a lovely tartness this year as we've not had the warmth to make the sweet. Also made the bread and it was a success - pity we had to eat the whole loaf in one day! I also bought peaches from Jerry on Akhurst Road and made peach chutney. Will buy some figs next and try some more of your recipes. Gail

  3. Hi Gail, thanks so much for the feedback, I'm so glad you liked the bread recipe, it's so good isn't it! If you feel like sharing your peach chutney recipe I'd love to give it a go, have a couple of kilos of Jerry's peaches at home...Sophx


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