Foraging doesn’t just have to be in the hedgerow or the countryside. Sometimes the supermarket can be an excellent place for foraging, with the bargains in the reduced items section or just what’s on offer. I happened across a load of bargain apricots at my local supermarket recently and came across a fab recipe for this lovely jam, and as I have loads of lavender in bloom in the garden it seemed rude not to!
If you’ve not come across this book before, then you should look it up, it’s called Salt Sugar Smoke and has some amazing recipes in it. Diana Henry describes this recipe as one of her favourites in the book, and it’s certainly a better apricot jam than many I have tasted. It has a sharpness to it that is lacking in the very sweet shop bought ones, and the lavender gives it a herby edge to it. The only thing I would change about the recipe is the amount of lavender as it was very subtle in my first batch, and I think it’s a jam that can benefit from more. If you’ve not made jam before, it really is easy, and fairly quick, you just need to do a bit of stirring.
3-6 sprigs of lavender
600g jam sugar
Stone the apricots and chop them up. Place in your jam pan (deep heavy based pan) with the lavender, lemon juice & jam sugar. Cook the fruit on a low heat for approximately 20 minutes, stirring regularly. Take care that the fruit does not stick to the bottom and burn, this will ruin your jam! (A rookie error I have made in the past).
When the fruit is falling apart & soft, turn the heat up high, boil until setting point is reached on a jam thermometer, (or use the wrinkle test: put a plate in the freezer, when the jam has been boiling for a good few minutes, and becomes glossy, drop some onto the chilled plate, if it wrinkles when pushed, setting point has been reached).
Pick out the lavender stalks, pour into warm, sterilised jars, cover with wax discs, seal with the lid. They will last 1 year and will need to be kept in the fridge once opened.