A product of apricot-growing countries, the Austrians and Turks claim their jam is the best because they grow varieties of apricots with the most flavour.
- 2 kg Anatolian apricots, fresh unblemished
- 1.6 kg / 1.2 kg sugar
- 800 ml water (optional – second method)
- 2 lemons, juiced
- Apricot kernels
There are two distinct methods of making apricot jam in Turkey.
The first method has a three day soaking period, and a short cooking time. For this method, halve the apricots (retaining the stones) and steep for 80 hours in one point two kilos of sugar in the refrigerator, add lemon juice after 30 hours. Crack open the stones to extract the kernels, which should be blanched to remove the skins. Put the apricot-lemon-sugar mixture in a heavy-bottomed pan. Bring gradually and slowly to the boil until the sugar crystals have completely dissolved, reduce for about 20 minutes. Add the kernels for the last 10 minutes, testing the mixture for solidity. This is done by placing a plate in the refrigerator, spooning some mixture onto the plate. If it forms a skin and begins to set it is ready to go immediately into hot sterilised jars.
The second method calls for less sugar, which should be dissolved in the water over a low heat before the apricots are added. Boil them in the sugar mixture for 10-15 minutes, add the lemon juice and kernels, reduce and test.
The first method retains the shape of each apricot half, the second produces the consistency of jam and is almost like a paste.
Dried apricots can be used in the second method and must be fully reconstitued in mineral water.