Summary: 2013 was the year I began experimenting with Black Velvet apricots, a 50/50 plum/apricot hybrid. A basic jam made with just Black Velvets and sugar is lovely, but this combo ups the ante a bit.
Yield: 4 half-pint jars
- 4 cups washed, pitted and chopped Black Velvet apricots (don’t worry about peeling them)
- 2 cups washed, pitted and chopped pluots (again, leave the peel)
- 3 cups unrefined, granulated sugar
- 2-3 grinds fresh black pepper
- 1½ ounces Cognac
Set a water bath canner full of water over high heat, and bring to a boil. Get four half-pint jars and a quarter pint jar and when the water is boiling, submerge the jars in it. Throw in the lids about five minutes before your jam is ready.
While the water comes to a boil, toss together the apricots, pluots and sugar in a canning pot or large, heavy, non-reactive pot. Set over medium-high heat, stirring regularly, until the sugar dissolves. When it has, turn the temp to high, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring regularly.
Start checking the temp after 15 minutes or so, and when the mixture heads north of 210° F, add the pepper and Cognac. Stir, bring back to a boil, and when the temp reaches 220° F, remove from heat and ladle carefully into your sterilized jars.
Apply the lids and bands carefully, and then process in your water bath canner for 12 minutes. Then remove the jars and let cool completely.