Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blueberry Apricot Jam- My Very First Post Revisited

I started my blog a year ago next week.  And it has been a fun journey for the past 12 months.  I had no idea what I was doing when I started this, I just knew that I had a desire to share my adventures in food and hope that somebody out there would be interested enough to read about them.

My pictures were terrible- actually my first couple of posts didn't even have photos- and it took me a while to find "my voice".  I was comfortable sharing about my food, but not so much about myself.  Throughout the past 97 posts (97!!  Wow!), I've learned how to just be me.  I'm interesting enough.  My thoughts are good enough.  And the food speaks for itself. That's a pretty amazing realization.
I'm getting there, learning more about myself and to trust my instincts as I go.  While my camera remains a decent little point and shoot and not the wonderful DSLR that I hope to one day have, I think I've learned quite a bit about how to photograph food and make it look good enough to want to grab from the screen and eat.  There's still a long way to go though and I'd love to take a food styling workshop or two (hubby, are you reading this?...) to learn how to take the best shots that I can.  In the meantime, I'll just keep plugging away.

I'm a long way from the polished and professional looking blogs that I adore.  I don't have a following of zillions of foodies or a book in the works and I haven't been published in any magazines.  You know what?  I'm okay with that.  I know I have a few dedicated readers who enjoy following along in my journey and some wonderful friends and family who encourage me to keep it up.  I've discovered that that's enough for me.  In fact, it's just right.  This blog may be small and unassuming, but it's mine and it makes me happy.  What else could a girl ask for?
I've been thinking a lot about starting fresh and new beginnings lately.  So I decided to go back to the beginning- literally- of my blog and start fresh.  My first post was an aprium vanilla jam.  Those apriums landed in my CSA box again last week and my first instinct was to make that same vanilla jam from a year ago.  But I'm a year older and a year wiser than I was then, so I decided not to go the same route.  This is a bit less subtle of a jam than the original, with fresh blueberries stirred in.  The vanilla jam was warm and ethereal and this jam is the complete opposite.  It's sweet and tart and wonderful- and just as good slathered on a piece of toast as it is warmed and served over ice cream.  I love it- well actually, I love both of them!
Blueberry Apricot Jam
Adapted from The New Preserves, by Anne V. Nelson.
For a printable version, click here.

Makes 4 half-pint jars.

2 lbs apricots (you could also use apriums, peaches or nectarines), about 10, pitted and chopped
1 1/2 cups (about a pint and a half) blueberries
2 cups sugar
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs butter

Place all the ingredients except the butter into a large saucepan.  Stir to coat the fruit in the sugar and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Add the butter to the pan. Turn the heat to medium high and let the mixture come to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and keep the mixture at a vigorous simmer, stirring frequently.

The mixture will begin to gel in about 20-25 minutes.  For a very scientific method of determining readiness, use an instant read thermometer.  A finished jam will reach 220 degrees.  I went the non-scientific route and tested my jam with a spoon.  Dip a metal spoon into the jam and then tilt it onto its side.  The jam should slide off the spoon in one sheet and not several drips. Carefully fill four half pint jars with the hot jam.

Here's where you have some choices.  I attempted to process my jars in a hot water bath.  Following proper protocol, I boiled them away for 10 minutes.  Alas, my lids didn't seal.  So into the fridge they went.  One jar went to a friend and one to my son's teacher.  The other two are tucked away for sandwiches and the aforemetioned ice cream topping.  If you'd like to try processing your jars, check out the wonderful blog Food in Jars.  You'll find all kinds of great tips and links there.  If not, just stick your jars in the fridge like I did and eat them up or give them away within a few weeks.


  1. Good Morning love your post on the A&B jam . I noticed you do not have a Canning blog on your list of Tasty Blog's would be honored to be on that list ! I linked to your recipe on this post ..xoxo

  2. Did I give you my post ? http://canarella.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-b-delicious-jam.html

  3. I am glad to have found your post on apricot blueberry jam, as I am attempting to make some today! I noticed that you add butter to the recipe. My mother used to do that, too. Is that just for flavor, or is it to help set the jam? And also, there is no need for pectin or anything? Thanks! :)

    1. Eleace, The butter is a little trick I learned from Martha Stewart. Its purpose is only to keep that bubbly foam from forming at the top of the jam. It isn't necessary, but you get a prettier jam when you add some in. And blueberries and apricots are some of the best fruits for jamming because they are both very high in naturally occurring pectin, so there is no need to add anything extra. Good luck with your jam!

  4. Hey there! I just made this jam. I've had a little taste and its gorgeous! Just the right sweetness. Thank you so much for the recipe! Becky X