Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Apricot and Garam Masala Jam



I've been wearing out the tread on my tires running back and forth across town to hit the orchards the last couple of weeks.  The fruit is ripe and ready to be picked on all the trees around here. Not one to let a good thing get away, I've been trying to use as much of it as I can before it's gone.

I was at one of my favorite stands when they told me there would only be another week or so to pick apricots.  After I composed myself from my complete panic, I grabbed 3 more pounds for a quick batch of jam.  I have been experimenting with different flavors and combos this year and one of these experiments apricot with garam masala turned out to be one of my favorites.

I must have a jam making aura about me or something, I was in the checkout line of my local market when the checker said, "You are buying lids, you must be making jam".  He then peppered me with jam making questions.  I gave him a quick run through of how to make jam and thought to myself, maybe others don't know how or maybe they think it's harder than it really is.

Apricot and Garam Masala Jam
3 pounds fresh apricots
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
1 tsp. garam masala
3 tablespoons powdered low-sugar pectin

You will need a few other items also.  I used 4 - 8 oz. size jelly jars and 2 - 4 oz. minis, make sure you have lids and bands.  Last year I bought a kit that included this handy basket that you place in the hot water and jar lifting tongs.  I know I whined about having too much cooking equipment in the last post, but I'm sticking by this purchase.


Peel the apricots and cut them into smaller pieces, place them in a large saucepan, add the sugar, lemon juice, and garam masala.  Turn heat on to medium-high and bring to a boil then turn heat down to medium-low, now add the pectin.  You want it bubbling but not a hard boil or your sugar could scorch. Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes until the fruit is broken down and the mixture is really thick. It should slowly drip off your spoon, not run off.

While the jam is cooking fill a large stockpot 3/4 of the way with water and bring the water to a boil.

Once the water is boiling place the clean jars and bands in (but not the lids) for 5-10 minutes. Rinse the lids off with hot water. Remove the jars and bands and set aside to cool a bit.


Skim any foam off the top of the jam that forms.  Once the jam is nice and thickened place it into the jars which should be warm and leave 1/4" of space on the top.  Wipe rims of jars and place lids and bands on top of each jar and place in the boiling water for 10 minutes.  If you don't have a handy basket like this, place a metal rack at the bottom of your pot to suspend the jars.


Make sure your jars are covered by the boiling water by an inch or so.  If not add some boiling water from a tea kettle.


Remove the jars from the hot water and let sit on the counter, as they cool you will hear the lids go pop, pop, pop; this means they are sealed properly.  If the lids don't pop (or depress) that means the jars aren't sealed, you can try putting them in the hot water for another five minutes.  


The garam masala adds a nice lingering finish to the jam and I used less sugar because my fruit was ripe and had a lot of natural sugar already.

Lisa the Authentic Suburban Gourmet, who loves making jam too has a great recipe here you might want to try.

Lisa wanted to know where to find the green basket.  I bought mine at a local Target, but I did find an online source so you can order one for yourself.  I have the Ball Canning Discovery Kit and the Utensil Set here is the link for you. 

Happy Canning,

Gina

35 comments:

  1. What an interesting combination! Sounds really good... I use garam masala on a daily basis in my cooking, but never tried it in a jam! Thanks for sharing, Gina! And I absolutely love the photographs in this post too! :)

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  2. Hey Gina, you were busy being our fearless leader and could not be expected to take photos, besides I have quite a few good ones I want to share with you! I like your jam recipe, last night I had vanilla ice cream with strawberry jam, I'm so bad!
    I really like the handy basket, I'll have to look for one;-) I have a jar of garam masala now I need to break it open and try your recipe, thanks !!!

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  3. I love garam marsala, but I would never have thought to put it in an apricot jam. How delicious! I'm so jealous of all the fresh fruit you've been gathering lately.

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  4. This looks so much better then the jams I buy in the store! One day I must try my hand at home canning

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  5. Growing up we had an apricot tree that was proliferous (sp??) and I remember eagerly waiting for the first few apricots. Later, when we were all on overload my mom would turn to jam, and apricot is my favorite to this day. Nothing like a good PBJ with apricot jam!!

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  6. You're hilarious, well done rocking out three pounds worth of peaches into a genius jam. Wowsers :) And well done schooling checker, you probably made his week!

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  7. Garam masala and apricot jam, nice! Lovely flavor combo.

    Two thumbs up!

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  8. You are a busy Cookie Queen, but you still find time to make this marvelous jam. Lovely flavor combos. My husband made my aunt's treasured Lime Picle recipe, before his bypass. Now pickles are on the "no" list. Maybe we should try jam? We still have the jars. Thanks for the idea!

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  9. I just bought some canning jars...so maybe this will be the year I delve into a new cooking method. Your jam looks amazing!

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  10. Gina - this jam looks incredible and I bet the flavors are outstanding. You have to share where you purchased the green basket - I use the standard wire rack from Sur La Table. I actually made two types of jam yesterday. Peach Jam and Green Fig, Peach and Balsamic Jam. Will be sharing both over the next few weeks. Thanks for the jam mention! :)

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  11. Gina, you are definitely the cookie queen! It really was so fun, and I'm sure I have a few good shots to send your way. This jam is so intriguing, what a gorgeous combination. (And the apricots look so cute in the basket! *wink wink*)

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  12. A jam with Indian flare...that sounds just marvelous!

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  13. That looks and sounds great!! I love indian flavours

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  14. You do have the coolest gadget! The green basket is cool! I never made jam before but this combination sounds totally homemade! I won't be able to try garam masala with apricot! It must be so good!!!

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  15. Looks so gud ..lovely pics

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  16. That sounds so good . I love spice in jams and chutneys. I bet this is good with cheese or with grilled meat. You are so lucky to have all those fruit around you.

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  17. I do like that green basket. I have one of the old metal ones and the smaller cans have a hard time standing up in it. I need a new one badly!

    I adore apricots and wish there was a grower out here. I have to depend on the nasty grocery stores ones, unfortunately. Everything about them; color, texture and taste, draws me.

    The jam; amazing. Truly and verily so.

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  18. I'm wow'd by the inclusion of garam masala in this jam! I need to take note of that... It sounds delicious!

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  19. I've only done freezer jams because I am a lazybones - but do love the combination you have here. So enticing. No apricot orchards here so would have to make do at the grocers. The photos are splendid - they just drew me in.

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  20. I am intrigued by your mix of apricot and garam marsala. I will have to see if my Target has that basket because that is the part that scares me the most - getting those jars back out of the water. If not then I may have to resort to ordering on line but the shipping kills me. I have no idea why they need to ship a canning set 2nd day air????

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  21. Gina-You're so lucky to find beautiful apricots, here, in S. Florida they cost an "arm and a leg" even in the produce markets, and we have no orchard trees here.
    Love the Indian "twist" with a touch of garam masala, and you ae absolutely right about the pectin.
    We have both kinds, one from Italy, and another is a Spanish version from our Cuban produce market. Love the cute basket...I suppose a spaghetti strainer basket would do the same trick, or just use a good tong to lift the steaming hot jars out...but actually according to direction, you're supposed to leave them in the water for a while, and it cools down, anyway!
    p.s. I was double checking to see if I followed you on your new site...so I made sure I am, now!
    xo

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  22. What a wonderful flavor combination!

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  23. oh how scrumptiously beautiful!
    totally obsessed with jam.
    also totally wish i could steal that spiral spoon of yours.

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  24. The addition of garam masala is truly inspired, Gina. And I agree, jam-making SEEMS a lot harder if you've never done it. Now that I have, I know it's really not all that bad!

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  25. Gina, I thought I was the incorrigible gadget girl but YOU my dear are the reigning gadget queen! Love all your kitchen equipment, especially these ones for making jam. I've never made 'proper' jam with pectin at home before and seeing your incredible flavor combo has inspired me to do it...soon!

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  26. That garam masala sounds like one absolutely fabulous way to spice up the jam. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your jam up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/07/sweets-for-saturday-25.html

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  27. wow...that looks super good...fantastic clicks..
    first time here..love your space..
    excellent recipe collection..
    Am your happy follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

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  28. That jam looks delish! I wanted to let you know about my cookbook giveaway that is going on right now until July 16th. Stop on by to enter! Hope you are having a great week :)

    http://steaknpotatoeskindagurl.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-first-giveaway.html

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  29. Wow Gina!! I simply must try this. You know I love my spices and apricots are a favorite. Thanks for sharing and I hope you catch a small break soon :)

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  30. Wonderful flavor! I would love to try some of this.

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  31. I honestly think that more people would make jam this way if they were as fashionably equipped like you are Gina...love that green happy color ;o)

    Apricots are one of my favourite fruits...unfortunately, this is extremely short lived in my parts. As soon as I get my hands on some...I'll try at least a smaller quantity of this jam...especially since the addition of this garam masala seems very inspiring.

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  32. You are defiantly busy bee:)) This is wonderful Gina, not only beautiful, and has a huge plus because it is homemade! Nicely done, I love it!!!

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  33. I really wish I lived near you. You have the most awesome orchards and farmers markets.
    I love apricot jam and love the addition of garam masala. Just a little touch of spice.

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  34. What a fantastic combination of flavors! I have never tried canning, but I know I should soon and should probably start with this one :)

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