Image copyright © Grant Nowel circa 1995

Stella Stock was a great cook in her time and although now in her 90s and quite frail the art of cooking continues to be her great passion.

It did not take a lot to take Stella’s original apricot jam recipe and apply it to other fruits adjusting the citric acid to set it. The beauty of her recipe is that any fruit can be used ripe (generally a no no with jam making) and although there is a lot of sugar the citric acid maintains the fruit flavour profile and the jam is not sickly sweet.

food editor Ann Oliver

1kg very ripe fruit – pitted/prepared weight
1kg caster sugar
citric acid – see below

Select a heavy based enamel or stainless steel saucepan that is at least two and a half times larger than the combined volume of the fruit and sugar. Put the fruit and sugar into the saucepan, stir it over macerating it slightly and allow it to rest for one to two hours.

Place the saucepan on very high heat, stirring constantly with a long handled wooden spoon (that has only ever been used for sweet cookery) until it boils. Still stirring, cook it rapidly for five minutes, add the citric acid, stir through and cook stirring for another five minutes. Remove from the heat and bottle in hot sterilised jars.

For dried apricot jam…just barely cover the apricots with cold water and leave the over night. Weigh the mass in the morning then you will need the same weight of caster sugar and work out how much citric acid is required.

10g per kilo fruit – apricots, all types of plums, apples, blueberries (meaning any fruit high in pectin)

50g per kilo fruit – strawberries, cherries, mulberries, blackberries, raspberries, figs, peaches, pears, pineapples, passionfruit, combinations of this bracket of fruits.

Strawberry jam
500g ripe strawberries
500g caster sugar
25g citric acid

Method as above

Copyright © text and recipe Stella Stock and Ann Oliver 2019