Robin Gill’s Apri­cot and Le­mon Thyme Jam

Makes 6 x 228ml jars

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Food - From Larder by Robin Gill (Ab­so­lute Press) Pho­tog­ra­phy © Paul Winch-Fur­ness

1kg (2 ¼ lbs)fresh apri­cots

50ml (2fl oz ) wa­ter

50ml (2fl oz ) fresh le­mon juice

600g (1¼ lb) jam sugar

100g (3½ oz) un­salted but­ter, cut into cubes

100g (3½ oz) honey

3 sprigs of le­mon thyme, leaves picked

1 tea­spoon Mal­don sea salt

Be­fore you be­gin mak­ing the jam, put three or four small plates in the freezer.

Cut the apri­cots in half and re­move the stones, then cut each half into quar­ters. Place the apri­cots and wa­ter in a large pot and cook over a medium heat for 10 min­utes to soften. Stir in the le­mon juice and sugar and bring the mix­ture up to 104C/225F.

Re­duce the heat and al­low to sim­mer, stir­ring now and again, for a fur­ther 20 min­utes or un­til the jam has reached soft set­ting point — use the wrin­kle test to check.

To do this, take the pan off the heat and care­fully spoon a lit­tle jam on to one of the cold plates. Let it stand for a minute, then push the blob of jam with your fin­ger. If the sur­face of the jam wrin­kles then it has reached set­ting point; if it is still quite liq­uid, then put the pan back on the heat and boil the jam for an­other cou­ple of min­utes be­fore test­ing again, us­ing dif­fer­ent plates from the freezer.

Mean­while, make a brown but­ter by melt­ing and heat­ing the but­ter cubes in a pan over a high heat un­til the but­ter starts to foam and brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Once this oc­curs, re­move from the heat im­me­di­ately and cool quickly by set­ting the base of the pan in cold wa­ter, to stop the but­ter from burn­ing.

Put the honey in an­other pan and cook over a medium heat to a dark caramel colour. Re­move from the heat and stir in the brown but­ter. Add to the apri­cot jam while still warm.

Stir through the le­mon thyme leaves and salt. La­dle the warm jam into ster­ilised jars and seal.

The jam can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to six months. Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within 6 weeks.

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