Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Apricot and Pistachio Conserve

There is something about a lovely apricot conserve that captures the essence summer.  The colour is like warm sunshine on golden blooms and fruits, and the flavour is mellow and comforting.  I love to use it to sandwich sponge cakes, to add to my plain sheep's yogurt, or add a dollop to a nice home made rice pudding, or to use in pastries and buns.

Usually I extract the apricot kernels and add that to the jam to give an extra 'amaretto' dimension.  For a change I have been inspired to add pistachios.  Let me confess immediately I love nuts and seeds, and very nearly every time I will go for pistachio icecream.  So I think this will be my preserve of the year.

I present my Apricot conserve with little green kernels of pistachios:

I had bought 1Kg of firm apricots and after preparation got just over 800g of chopped fruit.

rather than add a little water to the fruit, I added the juice of a large orange, a little of its zest, and the zest of a lemon.  The juice of the lemon was added when I added 830g of Tate & Lyle granulated white sugar, and also 50g of coarsely chopped pistacios.

With everything in a large pan..and for this smaller amount, I just used the pressure cooker base rather than my larger jamming pan.

Everything was brought slowly up to boiling, with a few stirs until the sugar had dissolved, then a fast rolling boil, with one of two stirs just to make sure the jam was not catching on the base, until setting was reached.  For the test I used the wrinkly skin on the top of jam cooled on a little plate method.

The batteries on my probe had gone...and I did dismantle it, and 'looked through his man drawer' to see if there were any of the special batteries...but I had to wait for him to come home, pull the wonderful internet to find the 'equivalent' battery, and there was one, but it did not have the same number on it!