I do realise that the stone fruit is disappearing fast as autumn is closing in.  If you have not already busted out a few preserves then it is high time you had a go.  There are still plums and peaches, the second crop of strawberries and raspberries and now quinces are available at the market.  Which all make delicious jams and jellies.  I have focused on the art of making preserves and jellies in my Autumn Journal available at the Otago Farmers Market.  It is such a precious skill to have as it adds variety to the sometimes dull winter pantry, it is cost effective and it is satisfying!

This recipe is taken from my Summer/Autumn Journal

The biggest issue when it comes to making any variety of preserves is to ensure you wash and rinse your jars well.  I dry mine in a low oven 50C for as long as it takes the jam to cook.  I also put the metal lids into a small pot of water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes, drain.  Try to avoid using a tea towel to dry them and also avoid handling them too much. Pour the jam in carefully when hot, wipe any spills and seal with the lids immediately.


4 x 250g jars with lids
Apricot pulp

1 kg apricots, stoned weight (keep the stones)
4 Nectarines, ripe, peeled and stones discarded
500g caster sugar
120 ml water

Method; Halve the apricots and gently crack the stones opened and remove the kernels.  Blanch these for 30 seconds in boiling water, cool, peel and keep to one side, (they taste of almonds).
Put the apricots, sugar and measured amount of water into a large heavy based pot.  Heat very gently, stirring all the time, until the sugar dissolves, and the juices begin to flow from the apricots.  Raise the heat slightly, add the nectarines, using a potato masher mash the pulp well to even out the lumps of fruit.  Boil vigorously, stirring often to prevent it catching on the base of the pot.  The fruit should be soft and pulpy and the liquid should evaporate.  The jam is ready in about 20-30 minutes, test some jam a saucer.  When cool, if is stays apart when divided with your finger, then it is ready.  Remove the jam from the heat, add the apricot kernels and let the jam settle for 5 minutes.

Pour into sterilised jars, seal and label.