We woke one Sunday morning in July to discover our apricot had literally snapped in half. Unbeknownst to us, insects had been enjoying our apricot tree as much as we had. Only they decided to eat the tree and not the fruit. The tree, laden with fruit, could no longer carry the burdens of this life so it kamikazed head first into the ground. It left behind some of its golden treasure–though much of it was more green than gold.
Hurriedly, we collected the fruit all afternoon sorting it out into trash, C (too green to eat), B (definitely good enough for jam) and A (maybe a pie, maybe straight into the mouth). Altogether we harvested over 80 pounds of fruit from our little tree. Sigh. Such a lovely tree.
Last year we made about 19 pints of jam. This year we thought we would simply triple the recipe from our book Clearly Delicious. Apparently, one should never double let alone triple a jam recipe. The liquid to fruit ratio changes with total volume of fruit.
Making good jam is a bit like making good bread, only fussier as it takes an precise ratio to make the jam set. Part of the problem stems from the fact that the jam must come to a boil first and if too much water and fruit sit in the pot, it won’t come to a boil. Or in our case, by the time it comes to a boil, the fruit at the bottom has burned.
I’d normally say better luck next year. Except with our poor apricot tree, there will be no next year.