Angelcot Jam

I have been really getting into small batch jam making. It’s so much easier than the traditional method of making huge batches at once that make a lot but take a lot of time and make a lot of mess. I like being able to use whatever fruit I have on hand to make a fresh jam in no time flat. I can choose the season’s best fruit and make jam at the drop of hat.

Angelcots

I dropped into Kroger last week to pick up a couple things we needed for dinner when I spotted Angelcot white apricots from Frieda’s. I talked about them last week. They are super sweet and juicy apricot. Lucky for me I had some trusty coupons on my pocket, so I walked out with 3 clamsells of Angelcots with one thing in mind – jam. My wife loves apricot jam. Her parents have an apricot tree in their backyard. I really wanted to see what jam made with Angelcots would be like.

The jam prep is really easy. You need a bowl and your hands. You can pop the Angelcots open with your hand and pop out the pits. Make sure you do it directly over the bowl as mentioned these suckers are juicy. Once you have as many as you plan to do you can either pureed them in a food processor or do what I do and just hit them with the sticker blender. If you are going to do that I would use an extra large bowl to prevent being splattered.

Then I weigh out how much puree I have. This is the beauty of this method, you can do it whatever amount you want. No need to measure out by cups and worrying about not having the right amount of having to do any complex math. Once I have the weight I add an equal amount sugar. You can go a little bit under the exact amount if you like, I usually go a little under to save the sugar. Then with pectin in hand you are ready to make jam (see full instructions in recipe below).

Angelcot Jam

The jam came out wonderfully. Nice and thick with a wonderful flavor bringing out the best in this fruit. I shared it with some friends and they loved it as well. A great use for these apricots.

Small Batch Angelcot Apricot Jam
 
Ingredients
  • Angelcot apricots, pitted with skins on
  • sugar
  • pectin
Instructions
  1. Remove the pits from the apricots. Leave the skin on. Puree the apricots with a sticker blender or food processor.
  2. Weight the puree with a kitchen scale. Add an equal amount of sugar.
  3. Place a small plate in the freezer.
  4. Add no more than 2 cups of puree to a non-stick frying pan over high heat.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of pectin for every cup of puree.
  6. Stir until the jam begins to thicken about 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat.
  8. Place a little bit onto the plate you put in the freezer. Put back in the freezer for at least 1 minute. Tip the plate sideways. If the jam stays put, then it is done. If not, then cook the jam longer and try again until it is thick.
  9. Store jam in fridge or freezer. Or process in jars for room temperature storage.

 

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Strawberry Blood Orange Jam

Last Summer, I introduced you, the blog readers, to small batch jam making with my Strawberry Vanilla Jam recipe. It’s a wonderful way to try out new flavor combinations with a very small commitment. Also a great way to take an advantage of seasonal produce. While we are still months away from the Michigan strawberry season, late winter is also a good time for strawberries for me. It’s when the Florida strawberries are at their peak. With both Mexican and California strawberries also available it creates the lowest prices of the season due to the volume on the market. Strawberries can be had for $1 a pound, I even found some for $1 for a 2 pound container. What a great opportunity to add to my jam supply to help me through to warmer days.

Strawberry Blood Orange Jam

One thing that is not in season when my Michigan strawberries are, is blood oranges. In June, I doubt the only place I will find a blood orange is if one rolled underneath a store’s produce display. I took the opportunity to add some blood orange juice to my strawberry jam. I was very pleased with the results, so I wanted to share it will all of you! I never combined strawberries and oranges together, but the flavors do play well with each other, particularly the blood orange.

The recipe below makes enough jam to fill a 8 oz Ball jar

In case you were wondering that cool yellow container holding the strawberries was picked up my wife on the cheap at our local Michaels craft store. It’s a fun piece of decor for our room as well as a prop for my strawberry recipes. That’s a multi-tasker for ya.

 

Small Batch Strawberry-Blood Orange Jam
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice (from about 2 blood oranges)
  • 1 cup pureed strawberries
  • 1 tsp classic powdered pectin
  • enough sugar to equal the weight of the strawberries
Instructions
  1. Prepare the strawberries. Weight them out. Add equal amount of sugar by weight.
  2. Allow the berries to macerate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Juice enough blood oranges to get to ¼ cup of juice. Add to the strawberries.
  4. Heat a large/wide frying pan over high heat.
  5. Pour in the fruit mixture. Add 1 teaspoon of pectin
  6. Place a plate into the freezer.
  7. Bring to a boil. Continually stirring until the jam thickens about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. Place a little bit of jam onto the plate in your freezer. Place back in the freezer, wait 1 minute. If the jam does not move on the plate, then it's done. If it seems too runny still cook it a bit longer and try again. You can add 1 more teaspoon of pectin if you think it needs it.

 

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Small Batch Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Jam making. The two words bring nightmares to the heart of many that have spend hours tolling away in their kitchens to make jam to have for months on end. It’s a fine way to go about it. You end up being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor long after those fruits are no longer in season. The reason why it’s such a nightmare is that it’s a long process to make. You have to boil the jam, then boil the jars, then boil the jam in the jars. If it’s not a labor of love than it’s just torture on a hot summer day. I think when people think of jam making it’s time for a paradigm shift. In this case it’s not go big or go home, it’s go small, and spend more time relaxing at home.

I have been getting into making small batches of jam. Reasons why:

1. It’s easy and fast. You don’t have to spend all day. You can have your single jar of jam much sooner.
2. The taste is better. When you don’t cook the fruit as long as you do in the big batch the flavor of the fruit is preserved (I made a funny!).
3. Using what I have. I have a method of making jam that allows me to use the fruit I have in whatever amount I have without having to worry so much about cup and fruit measuring.

Small Batch Strawberry Vanilla Jam

The first small batch jam I made this year is strawberry. It’s the first fruit to come into season here in Michigan. Strawberry has always been my favorite jam. So I couldn’t wait to give it the small batch treatment. To up the flavor even more, I wanted to add some vanilla beans.

Small Batch Strawberry Vanilla Jam

For small batch jam making all I do is weight out my sliced strawberries, weight out my sugar. Add in 1 vanilla bean per quart of strawberries (1 quart of strawberries is about 1 1/2 pounds). Allow the berries to macerate in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then cook in a large frying pan. I use a frying pan because it allows for more surface area for water to evaporate, making the process go quicker. Remember the quicker you cook, then more flavor is keep intact. I will add pectin about 1 teaspoon per 2 cups of fruit if needed, I think strawberries can use some added pectin.

Small Batch Strawberry Vanilla Jam
 
Ingredients
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries (about 1½ pounds), tops removed and quartered
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1-2 teaspoons classic powered pectin
  • enough sugar to equal the weight of the strawberries
Instructions
  1. Prepare the strawberries. Weight them out. Add equal amount of sugar by weight.
  2. Cut open and scrap out 1 vanilla bean. Add to the fruit/sugar
  3. Allow to macerate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. Heat a large/wide frying pan over high heat.
  5. Pour in the fruit mixture. Add 1 teaspoon of pectin for 2 cups of macerated fruit
  6. Place a plate into the freezer.
  7. Bring to a boil. Continually stirring until the jam thickens about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. Place a little bit of jam onto the plate in your freezer. Place back in the freezer, wait 1 mintue. If the jam does not move on the plate, then it's done. If it seems too runny still cook it a bit longer and try again. You can add 1 more teaspoon of pectin if you think it needs it.

This jam is the best I ever made. The strawberry flavor is so bold. Just look at beautifully red the jam is. The vanilla bean adds a nice note to really round out the flavor. This will be a go-to to every Michigan strawberry season.

What to Store Your Jam In?
I like to use a couple different types of Ball jars to store my jam.
For this amount of jam either use Glass Pint Jars or 16-Ounce Plastic Freezer Jars.

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I'm Eric. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my wife, 3 kids, and a flock of ducks. I love grocery shopping, trying new fruits, farmer's market, and traveling.
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