I was visiting my friends Krishna and Paulomi at their home in the greater LA area. Like many Californians, they too have a number of profusely productive fruit trees in their yard, including an apricot tree that was brimming with over ripe fruit. I couldn’t pass up the chance. The fruit was so ripe and many of them were past the usable stage. With the help of my daughter, I was able to get some fifty or so usable fruit. There were some overripe mangoes sitting on the counter. I decided to include them as well. I needed to add a bit of tart so in went the raspberries from the refrigerator.
Thankfully, the preserves turned out well and Paulomi suggests I should change professions. I trust she means I should become a professional cook and not that I should hang up my apron for good. I hope…
Apricot and Mango preserves
- small ripe apricots pitted and halved – 50
- Ripe mango peeled and diced – 3
- raspberries – 1/2 pint
- unrefined sugar – 4 cups
- saffron – 1 pinch
- cardomom – 1 clove
- I use roughly equal quantities of unrefined raw sugar and the fruit.
- If I wash the fruit, I pat it dry to minimise moisture in the pot.
- Use a large heavy bottomed pan and stir gently and often till the foam subsides and the preserved thicken and com off the sides of the pot in a toothpaste like consistency.
- Clean and slice the apricots in half and remove the stones.
- Clean and slice the mango cheeks. Then score and scoop the flesh into 1 inch cubes and discard the peel.
- Peel and squeeze the pulp and juice from the seeds into the pot and discard the seed
- Add the sugar, cardamom and saffron into a large and heavy pan and bring to a boil.
- lower the heat as the froth forms on the top and stir occasionally.
- Stir more frequently as the mixture thickens so it doesn’t burn or catch at the bottom of the pan.
- When it starts to come off the side of the pan like a halwa or kesari or sourdough consistency, remove from heat.
- Stre in clean dry containers after it cools and thicken some more.
- Refrigerate and use within a few weeks
Note: I don’t use white sugar or pectin when I make jam or preserves. It seems to work out well though it may take some extra time and some elbow grease to stir gently for longer.