From Fast Ed’s kitchen
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Bottled apricots in vanilla and star anise We’re using what’s called a light syrup – it’s lower in sugar, so you get more natural fruit flavour as well as it being better for you. You know when the syrup is just right because the fruit is perfectly buoyant.
Preparation time 20 mins
Cooking time 1 hour 10 mins
Makes 4 bottles (2 litres)
2 vanilla beans, split
4 star anise
250g caster sugar
2kg whole apricots
STEP 1 Put water in a large saucepan with the vanilla and star anise. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Simmer for 45 mins or until reduced to 1 litre. Add sugar and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 mins until the sugar dissolves. STEP 2 Meanwhile, halve the apricots and discard stones. Pack apricots into four sterilised 500ml preserving bottles. Pour the syrup over apricots, leaving a 2cm gap from the top to allow the syrup to expand while cooking. Fit lids, then place in a large pan. Cover with boiling water and cook for 20-25 mins.
STEP 3 Line a tray with a tea towel. Carefully remove jars from water and invert onto prepared tray. Set aside overnight at room temperature until cool. Store in a cool dark place for up to 2 years.
Bottled apricots in vanilla and star anise