Sunday, May 13, 2012

Apricot Ginger Vanilla Chai Jam



if you think you can...you can.
i knew i could...NOW I CAN.
my very first CANNED JAM !
so excited to finally be a "canner".
if you haven't done it yet, this is a great way to get your feet wet...
dried fruit.
guaranteed flavor if apricots aren't in season where you are.
it's inexpensive for a small batch such as this....and if it doesn't turn out right, it's not such a sinful waste of beautiful fruit.  i lucked out as a first timer, and this turned out fabulous.
the flavors are sweet, fresh and bright from the apricot, ginger and lemon, but slightly warmed by the vanilla and chai.
all jammed together it reminds me a little of a sunny Christmas morning...
but guess what???
i'll be able to give it away at Christmas because i am a successful canner !
they'll be good in the pantry for a whole year.  although...i was so proud of my jam i already gave 5 jars away.  by the way...i used small 4 oz jars and got 6 with a little extra for immediate consumption.
i love the dried apricot idea and will be doing it again.


Dried Apricot Ginger Vanilla Chai Jam
makes about 3 8oz jars

8 oz. dried apricots, small diced
2 3/4 cups filtered water
1 Chai tea packet
2 star anise and 6 - 8 cardamom pods(smashed open) tied into a cheesecloth pouch
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger...a cheese grater is better than microplane...or finely minced
1 large Tbsp lemon zest...(see note)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 - 3 small plates in the freezer for "plate test"

heat the filtered water and steep the chai tea.  while it's steeping dice apricots fairly small (they expand).  put apricots and cardamom/anise pouch in bowl with tea water and let sit over night.  in the morning they will be fragrant and plump.
pour the soaked apricots, cardamom pouch and tea liquid into a large non-reactive pot.  add 2 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh ginger and lemon zest.  bring to a boil, cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
NOTE...i removed the cardamom pouch after 15 minutes because i could smell that it was fragrant enough...you don't want to over power the other flavors.
when the apricots are tender, remove the cardamom pouch, raise the heat and slowly add the sugar and 2 Tbsp vanilla extract.  bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced and the jam seems quite thick.  when temperature reaches 220F (for sea level jam makers) degrees do the plate test.

if your jam passes the test you can now funnel the jam into sterilized jars and proceed with canning.  please follow instructions to the "T" when canning (they should come with the jars)...
OR close lid tight, let sit to room temperature and refrigerate to consume with in a month or two.  check here for proper food safety
NOTE FOR LEMON ZEST...use a potato peeler to remove strips of the lemon zest, then using a sharp knife cut the strips of peel in very fine slivers.  i find this gives a nice pop of lemon flavor in each bite rather than thrown into the over all mix.

4 comments:

oliepants said...

I love adding cardamom to almost anything. I bet it goes perfectly with apricot. Beautiful pictures.

Jules and Ruby said...

hi oliepants. thanks for stopping by. i'll have more jams posted soon. i've been going crazy with the canning

Diana said...

Sounds great! Will try this very soon!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Diana...i hope you DO. the flavors were fabulous. i think i'll break out another jar this weekend.

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