Baked Summer Ratatouille
One of the first local recipes we made for the Oregon Food Bank's Eat Local Challenge!
Annnnd we’re back! It’s been a very busy week; the kind of week that means blog activities may have to take a backseat. Now I’ve been home for a couple days, slept a couple of 10-hour nights complete with afternoon naps to tack on a little extra, and I’m approaching productivity mode again. Thank goodness it’s a long weekend!
I hope everyone out there is having a fun holiday weekend. I think we have some new neighbors this year… close neighbors who enjoy shooting off some of the bigger fireworks, the kind that are probably not legal. It was a loud night, but we could see some pretty nice shows from our upstairs windows.
If you follow me on Instagram or have been reading this blog this summer, you’ll know how obsessed I am with fresh apricots. I can’t get over them; they came much earlier than peaches, and they’re so tart and tiny and TEMPTING. They are great in a dessert or in a salad with burrata.
That’s why last weekend, I had to pick up a few more pounds of apricots, even though I wouldn’t be in town the following week. I don’t know how long these will be in season and I can’t stand the thought of them being gone, so I wanted to preserve some. I’m envisioning myself popping one open in January… it’s going to be so lovely to have a little bit of summer when it’s rainy out.
Here’s what you need:
1.5 quarts quartered, peeled apricots*
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
*For me, the blanching method did not work very well. I ended up just peeling the apricots with a vegetable peeler. Some bloggers seem to think you don’t need to remove the peels at all, but if you leave them on I recommend using much smaller chunks than quarters. The peels will not break down like the fruit itself (but then, you can use an immersion blender).
Add all three ingredients to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir to combine.
Heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a boil. Once the apricots start to break down, you may wish to (very carefully) blend using an immersion blender to achieve a smoother texture. Continue boiling, stirring frequently, for 20-30 minutes, or until the mixture has reached the gelling state. Test this by using the cold plate test.
When the jam has reached the gelling point, ladle into clean Mason jars. Run a knife around the edges to get rid of air bubbles, then wipe the rims clean. Add new lids and screw on rings to be very lightly tight. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, then remove to a heat-safe area.