30/06/2014 11:25 BST | Updated 26/08/2014 06:59 BST

Fresh Apricot Conserve


This is a French-style conserve, which means there are chunks of luscious fruit suspended in it, and it's the most popular jam I make by far.

It helps to have fruit that is ripe but still firm, so the halved apricots don't disintegrate when you cook them. If they do break up it's not the end of the world - it'll still taste amazing.

Steeping the fruit in the sugar before cooking helps keep the apricots firmer in texture and also extracts fruit juice before heating, reducing the cooking time.

I store this in the fridge as it keeps better. A pound of stoned fruit should give slightly more than a pound and a half of jam.

Fresh Apricot Conserve



For every 1lb/450g apricots, weighed when stoned, you'll need ...

1lb/450g sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice



Halve and stone the fruit, put it in a preserving pan off the heat and add the sugar and lemon juice.

Allow to steep for no more than 15 minutes (apricots darken in colour once cut), stirring once or twice to coat the fruit.


Transfer to the stove and heat gently, stirring all the time, until the sugar dissolves.

Raise the heat slightly and cook until setting point is reached.

Allow to cool slightly (otherwise the fruit will float), stir to distribute the apricot chunks evenly, pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.

Eat any you can't fit into a jar spread on buttered toast ...