Yields a 400 gm glass-jarful
1 kg apricots (net weight)
1/2 kg castor sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Wash apricots well. Dry them thoroughly. Stone them and weigh apricot halves to determine the exact amount of sugar; the ratio of which is one to one half. In a large glass bowl or any other non-reactive container, alternate layers of apricot and sugar; starting by apricot and ending by sugar on the final top layer. Cover and leave for overnight; either at a cool room temperature, or refrigerate if weather is extremely hot. On the following morning, you will find that all the sugar is dissolved; leaving the apricots in syrup. Transfer apricot and syrup to a large pot. Add the lemon juice. Bring to the boil and cook over medium-low heat; uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes; stirring quite often. The jam will look as illustrated. Test if done with a spoon dipped in jam. If it sticks to its back, then it is done. If not; give it a few more minutes; stirring. Remove away from heat. Heat the oven for fifteen minutes at 200 degrees Centigrade. Put it off. Place clean, washed, drained and towel-dried glass jars upon a tray, with their lids upon another tray and leave in the oven for 20 minutes to sterilize. Remove and ladle the jam in; while both are still hot; by means of a clean sterile funnel. Wipe the rim of each jar with a piece of tissue. Close tightly with the lids. Leave aside to cool off completely. Store in your pantry and refrigerate one jar at a time; if you prefer the jam cold. Serve with a spread of cream cheese or butter; on toasted bread or with biscuits, scones, crackers, croissants, cake slices or any other pastry you prefer.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 25 July, 2019 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly