Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Colleen's Poison Jam
Ok, folks, you are in for a real treat today. I'm going to share a recipe for, quite simply, the best jam in the whole world. This summer I've already made strawberry jam, sour cherry jam, and lots of blueberry marmalade. They are all very, very good. But nothing touches Colleen's Poison Jam which I am sharing here with her permission.
The first thing you should know it that it isn't actually poison, but it's so good that you'd willingly eat it even if it were. Back in March we took a trip down south to visit Colleen and her lovely family in California. We had a wonderful week and when our departure day arrived, I was quite sad about leaving. Colleen had thoughtfully gotten up early, thrown together some fabulous scones, and served them with an array of tasty homemade jams. The apricot was absolutely divine and I was delighted when she pulled a couple of jars out of the freezer and gave them to me to take home.
It was a long drive and I thought about the jam tucked away under the seat quite a few times. After many hours, we got home and unpacked and went about the business of switching from vacation mode to real life mode and it was quite a few days before I thought about the jam again. When I went looking for it, it wasn't in the refrigerator where it belonged. Both jars were right where I left them under the seat in the van.
In my defense, I will say that the weather was very cool and rainy all week. It never could have heated up in the van. And jam is full of sugar, a natural preservative. When I brought the jars in, I told the kids in no uncertain terms not to touch the jam as it was surely spoiled. And then I proceeded to eat an entire jar myself in the pre-Passover rush to get all the bread out of the house. My kids eventually realized that I wasn't dying from the jam and they took care of the rest of it. And thus the (terribly unfair) name was born.
I'm sure many of you are shrieking in horror by now. But here's the thing. I would risk my life for this jam. It's that good. And there wasn't a thing in the world wrong with it despite all my husband's grim doomsday warnings.
I thought it must be terribly complicated to make such a lovely treat but in fact it's a snap. Really. Couldn't be easier. Apricots, sugar, lemon juice, a pat of butter, and a vanilla bean which is crucial to the heavenly flavor. The only thing I changed was the method of preservation. Instead of freezing, my jars have been water bath canned so they're safe for long car rides and forgetful gift recipients. It takes about half an hour to make a couple of pints of the loveliest apricot jam ever. Apricots are in all the farmers markets these days (at least in our area) so don't miss your chance!
Printable recipe here.