Apricot jam

Apricots make the most glorious jam, but only . rarely do they set sufficiently, or last all that long. The microwave fixes that, and eliminates all the agony of stirring and watching and waiting, and getting bored, and seeing all your preparation burnt away.

1 kg (with seeds removed) of cleaned apricots, preferably those from the early season, with a little acid

750 g caster sugar

1 cup orange juice

1 sharp apple, skinned, cored, and chopped into little pieces, and tossed in a little lemon juice

1 lemon, washed, sliced very finely

a little whisky


After removing the seeds, cut most of the apricots into pieces (do this in the food processor), keeping several as halves, and cover the lot with the sugar and orange juice. Mix well with a wooden spoon and add the chopped apple and the sliced lemon.


Cook in the microwave for about 50 minutes, depending on its power, until the apricots have softened and the mixture has thickened noticeably and sets on a cold plate. Take a look see every now and then, removing any impurities which have risen to the surface.


Ladle the mixture carefully (use a glove to hold the jars) into warm, sterilised jars, filling to just under the brim. Top each jar with a little whisky (optional). Seal immediately. If you’re using metal seals, invert until cooled.