A deliciously easy and versatile French style jam - not just for spreading on baguettes, brioche or crêpes but also good warmed and served as a sauce with ice cream, a glaze on apple tarts or as a filling for macarons.
1kg (2.5 lb)apricotswashed and cut in 2 (stones removed)
400g (14oz)granulated sugar with added pectin(preserving sugar) *
juice of a lemon
2fresh lavender flowersor 2 tsps dried lavender in a tea infuser
1knob of butter
Mix together the above ingredients (except the butter) in a large bowl and leave to macerate and infuse with the lavender overnight or about 4 hours.
Remove the full lavender flowers or the tea strainer with the dried lavender.
In a heavy high-sided pot (as I use induction heat, but traditionally - if you can - use a copper pot), bring the ingredients to a slow boil over a moderate heat for at least 45 minutes. Stir occasionally using a wooden spoon and add the knob of butter.
Meanwhile, chill a saucer in the fridge to quicken the setting process.
Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for another 15 minutes until thickened. Test the jam on the chilled saucer. If it wrinkles, it's set. If not, then continue to boil the jam and try again.
Pour directly into hot, sterilised jars to the top, seal and turn the jars upside down to seal the jam inside. Leave to cool then label.
Storage: Store in a cool place for up to a year. Once opened, store in the fridge.Note on Pectin for Apricot Jam: As apricots are naturally low in pectin (which helps set jam), use special preserving sugar with pectin to speed along the setting process (read the label that ingredients don't contain palm oil). If, however, you prefer without, use plain granulated sugar and boil to reduce for longer. Continue to use the lemon juice, as it's naturally high in pectin and the acid helps set the jam naturally. Scum on Jam: Although optional, the knob of butter is an old family trick we use to reduce the scum that forms on jam.