I started a herb garden this year on my roof, and I’ve been loving having fresh herbs at my disposal. In fact, I have so many that I’m trying to incorporate them into recipes where you wouldn’t normally expect them. Like including savory herbs in sweet applications.
A couple weeks ago, I made a blackberry-blueberry-sage jam. I’ve also tasted a similar version with basil, which works quite well. The herbs are not overwhelming, but there’s just a lingering essence at the end.
My friend Lili and I make an annual pilgrimage out to Richmond Country Farms to see what ingredients inspire us. Last year, it was a zucchini pickle, but this year, she was all about the sweet jams with savoury herbs. The peaches and apricots I bought were destined to go into a pie, but the contest I was supposed to enter got cancelled, so I decided to take Lili’s lead and make jam.
Lili’s been eating hers on crackers with brie, but I’ve been enjoying mine simply on homemade, toasted bread. This jam is so luscious and golden. This is a small batch of jam; mine made 3-250 ml jars. Feel free to adjust proportions according to how much you want to make.
- 3 large peaches
- 10 apricots
- 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Peel the peaches. If they are quite ripe, a sharp knife will probably take the skins off without too much difficulty. Otherwise, dip them for about a minute in boiling water. Cut them in half and remove the stones, then chop them roughly. You don’t need to be too precious about it, they’ll boil down.
- Halve the apricots and remove the stones. Again, chop roughly. Don’t worry about the skins–if some of them come off, that’s fine, if not, you won’t notice them very much in the cooked jam.
- In a large pot, like a dutch oven or a stock pot, bring the fruit and the lemon juice up to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Add the sprig of rosemary, whole. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. You can mash with a potato masher to help release the juices, if you like.
- Once the fruit is broken down, add the sugar, stir well, and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes more, until the jam reaches your desired consistency. To test for doneness, put a few tablespoons of the jam on a small plate. Run your finger through it. Your finger should leave a clean trail that does not close up afterwards. If there is a lot of foam, you can add a tablespoon of butter or margarine.
- When the jam is done, remove the sprig of rosemary. You can stir in some finely chopped, fresh rosemary towards the end if you like flecks of green in your jam for contrast.
- Preserve using the directions on this page.