Sometimes abundance can cause a lot of work. For the first time ever, our apricot tree started to crank out fruit like it was going out of style. Many dozens of apricots fell to the ground daily for weeks. I couldn’t just scoop them up, eat a few, and toss the rest away, so I dried some (turned out ugly) and finally decided I had better make jam.
Birds and insects found many of the fruits before I did, and did minor to catastrophic damage to them. A few apricots received only a tiny bruise from hitting the ground. Overall, most of the fruit was usable after only minor trimming. It is always surprising to see that a large pile of fruit in the food processor shrinks so much when the whirring blade does its duty.
The first batch I made was tiny. But it was gaggingly sweet because of its nearly-one-to-one ratio of sugar to fruit. For the second and subsequent batches I picked some lemons (huge!) off our tree and added a generous amount of lemon zest and juice to cut the sweetness. I thought I might be in trouble altering the basic recipe with lots of acid from the lemons, but it worked out just fine. It seems jam-making isn’t as touchy as candy-making.
I sent the first batch of jam to the crew at the high ranch. They loved it. If they’re nice to me, maybe they’ll luck out and get some of the second batch.