Last week we had a terrific surprise. As we were getting ready to go for a walk, our friend AnnaMarie showed up at our house with a box of fresh, ripe apricots that she had picked from her mother’s trees on a recent trip. We were so excited! Apricots are a staple in Hungarian dessert recipes. My mother-in-law uses apricot jam as a filling in “palicinta” or crepes along with cinnamon-sugar and walnuts. Yum! She also uses it as a filling between hazlenut cookies topped with melted chocolate. Double yum!! So for the first time this summer, I got out the canning jars and sterilized them, peeled the apricots, pureed them and added the sugar and pectin, cooked it to boiling, and made my own apricot jam!
Rebecca and Elizabeth helped. Elizabeth helped peel the skins off. Most recipes say you don’t have to peel them since the peels are not thick, but I don’t want the peels in my pretty jam! So we tossed the apricots in boiling water for a minute, then quickly took them out and put them in cold water and the peels slid right off. Rebecca was my “Stirrer-in Chief” and stood over the hot stove keeping the apricots and sugar from burning by stirring constantly, while I was busy getting everything else ready. We ended up with twelve half-pint jars!
There is such a sense of satisfaction that comes from canning your own food. You know what is in it, first of all. You also get the sense of being stocked up on something that you can use later. I can’t wait until this winter when we make fresh warm crepes and I can open a jar of summer deliciousness to have with them! Thanks again, AnnaMarie! It’s great to have friends!