Jane tells us that her mother made this jam during the war, but lost the recipe, but then a stroke of luck; someone sent her a recipe, decades later. And here it is below. I suppose it makes a little bit of sense jazzing up the pineapple and apricots into a jam for high tea at a time of rationing.
The recipe uses not the dried apricots you typically find with the dried fruit in the supermarket, but the kind you find dried whole and rock-hard, with their stones inside. These are readily available at your local Asian grocers.
To begin, you need to soak a pound of the dried apricots in 2 ½ pints of cold water overnight. Take out the stones and crack them open to find the almond-scented kernels within. I find the best way to do this job is to put a dozen or so of the stones in a freezer bag and then swiftly crack them with a hammer. The bag stops the stones from flying everywhere, and a short swift crack with a hammer ensures that – in the main – the stones remain whole.
Put the soaking water along with the apricot flesh in a simmer gently for 30 minutes. Whilst they cook, drain a 12 ounce (375g) tin of pineapple, reserving the juice. Chop the pineapple quite small. Add the juice, the pineapple and kernels to the pan along with 3 pounds of sugar (granulated will do fine) and 4 ounces of blanched, slivered almonds. Bring to a rolling boil until setting point is reached using a sugar thermometer (104⁰C) or by the wrinkle test on a cold saucer.
Let the jam sit for 10 minutes before potting into hot, sterilised jars.
#385 Apricot and Pineapple Jam. This is a great-looking and great-tasting jam. It looks like bejewelled honey with those almonds and kernels floating in there. It doesn’t taste as sweet as I thought it would, and is delicious on toast or in jam tarts. It seems that, although the ingredients did not need further preservation, a jam was created that was greater than the sum of their parts. All art is useless, as Oscar Wilde said. Very good: 8/10.