I order apricots and peaches from 4-H who come though our Sunrise Rotary. It's a fundraiser for 4-H. Organic fruit from eastern Washington.
There is a different pick up date for each. The apricots are first.
They are big, look beautiful, taste good, but are fairly hard. Nearly crisp. I want the apricots that are so ripe and fragrant that with one bite the juice runs down your arm and you are sticky.
I let them sit in the box on the table in the kitchen in the sun. I start looking though my cookbooks. Jam.
"Look on the internet." says my daughter.
But I have cookbooks. No apricot jam in Joy of Cooking. Nor any of them. Until Claudia Rosen's A Book of Middle Eastern Food, Vintage Books Edition, 1974. My mother loved this cookbook and gave me a copy.
2 lbs fresh apricots
3 cups sugar, or the weight in sugar of pitted apricots.
Wash and pit the apricots. Layer them with sugar in a large glass or earthenware bowl and leave overnight to macerate. The following day, pour the contents of the bowl into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil very slowly and simmer gently for about 40 minutes, until the apricots are soft and translucent, and the juice has thickened enough to set when tested on a cold plate. Stir occasionally.
Let the jam cool in the pan, then pour into clean glass jars and close as usual.
The apricots are softer and more fragrant after 3 days. I pit and weigh them, two pounds, and two pounds of sugar.
Twelve hours later there is clear liquid in the bowl, some granulated sugar and the apricots. The jam is delicious.
I don't think I've macerated fruit before but I am hooked. Enjoy.