If you haven't tasted this year's stone fruit crop -- peaches, apricots, any of them -- you must. It really is some of the best we've tasted in years. And an open invitation to make jam. A requirement, actually, when you finally resign yourself to the reality that you cannot possibly eat your way through a 25-pound box of Blenheim apricots before they spoil.
|Box of Blenheim Apricots From See Canyon Farm|
Jam isn't particularly difficult to make: Combine the fruit with some sugar, cook it, can it. You can add citrus juices for tang, herbs, whatever you want, really. And if you're more interested in the cooking than canning side, jam freezes quite well in small portions, a 6-month supply of tart filling, ice cream and fruit sauce inspiration. But even the simplest recipes are layered with subtleties. "How 'jammy' do you want your stone fruit?" asked Mike Cirone of See Canyon farm in San Luis Obispo when we picked up our discounted "jam box" of apricots at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. "A little jammy, more jammy?"
Well, we weren't sure. So we asked Amy Deaver of Lemon Bird Handmade Jams, who was up to her elbows in stone fruit jam making recently (and makes some pretty fantastic jams -- if you find yourself in a flavor inspiration rut, try her apricot-sage honey-pistachio jam). Get Deaver's tips after the jump. More »