Robin Gill’s Apricot and Lemon Thyme Jam
Makes 6 x 228ml jars
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.