This is based on a French recipe, and can be quite tart, so it may be necessary to add extra sugar depending on taste. The apricot kernels are an option (as is the honey), but do help to add to the flavour and contain pectin which helps to ensure thickening of the jam using only natural ingredients. There is some controversy around using apricot kernels, as they contain small amounts of cyanide, which is toxic. However, in the quantities concerned, there should be no risk of poisoning given the level of dilution in the jam across several jars. 5-10 kernels should be sufficient. I prefer to use raw or brown sugar in cooking, but white sugar can be used.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence (or 1 vanilla pod, scored and cut into four pieces)
1/2 lemon (non-waxed)
1 tablespoon of manuka honey
Preparation & Cooking:
Halve and stone fruit, keep back handful of stones
Mix fruit and sugar in cooking pan.
Add vanilla & honey to mixture & mix.
Finely grate surface of half-lemon skin and add to pan; squeeze juice from half-lemon into pan.
Crack open reserved apricot stones, using side of cleaver, remove kernels, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, remove & immerse in cold water, remove outer skins, separate into halves, and add to mixture & mix.
Cover pan, and allow to stand all day or overnight, occasionally stirring.
After 8-10 hours, apply gentle heat until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Then bring to full boil for 2-3 minutes, and reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes until the mixture begin to thicken.
The vanilla pod pieces should be removed, while the apricot kernels can be left in or scooped out as preferred.
Leave the mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes.
Prepare and sterilise 3 jam-jars and lids, and half-fill with hot pre-boiled water (not boiling, as that can crack glass). Empty the hot water out.
Using a funnel, pour the jam into the jars, up to 5mm below top of jar, leave for five minutes, then apply and secure the lid. Leave to cool, store in cool dark place, once opened, keep jar in fridge.
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