The Cottage Smallholder

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Apricot and peach jam recipe


Photo: Apricot and peach jam for breakfast

Photo: Apricot and peach jam for breakfast

“Would you like wild plum, greengage, Victoria plum or apricot and peach?”
“Greengage I think. Well actually I’d like to try the peachy one. Can I have both?”
For years Danny and I weren’t jam sort of people. Until we started foraging, found wild cherry plums and decided to make our own. I can still remember the shock of the taste of the jam, the intense flavour with a slightly bitter sweet twist.

This year we have been making jam in earnest. It’s easy to make jam and a good jam is real comfort food of the first order. For months we’ve been eating a savoury brunch late morning. Now we’re eating earlier. Toast smothered with homemade jam is guzzled as we chat through our plans for the day.

I found some apricots and peaches knocked down in price and came up with this recipe. The peaches take a bit longer to cook than the apricots which means that the peachy chunks are suspended in the jam. The lemon juice brings out the flavours of the fruit. Stunning, packed with fruity  flavour and so easy to make.

Apricot and peach jam

Yield 5 1lb jars


1245g/2lb 12ozs fresh apricots
500g/1lb 2ozs of fresh ripe peaches
570ml/1 pint of water
The juice of three small lemons
1020g/2lb 4ozs of white granulates sugar


The night before you want to make the jam put the whole apricots in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Quarter the peaches and remove the stones but leave the skins on. Cover with water and bring to simmering point. When the apricots have softened turn off the heat. Cover and allow too cool.

The next day remove the peach skins (these should just rub off easily) and chop the peaches into chunks. Squeeze the apricots to remove the stones but don’t remove the apricot skins.

Add the juice of 3 small lemons (remove the pips first)

Bring the fruit, lemon juice and water to simmering point, add the sugar and stir until you are certain that the sugar has dissolved completely.

Bring to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Testing for set after 15-20 minutes (what is testing for a set? See tricks and tips below). If the jam hasn’t set test at 5 minute intervals, taking the pan off the heat during the process. Mine took about 25 minutes to set.

Ladle into warm sterilised jars (how do I sterilise jars? See tricks and tips below) and seal, with either waxed disks and cellophane lids or screw on lids. Label when cold and store in a dark place well away from damp.
Tips and tricks:
Jam “set” or “setting point”:

Getting the right set can be tricky. I have tried using a jam thermometer but find it easier to use the following method. Before you start to make the jam, put a couple of plates in the fridge so that the warm jam can be drizzled onto a cold plate (when we make jam we often forget to return the plate to the fridge between tests, using two plates means that you have a spare cold plate). Return the plate to the fridge to cool for approx two minutes. It has set when you run your finger through it and leave a crinkly track mark. If after two minutes the cooled jam is too liquid, continue to boil the jam, testing it every few minutes until you have the right set. The jam is far more delicious if it is slightly runny.

Sterilising the jars:
We collect jars all year round for our jelly, chutney and jam making sessions. I try to soak off labels and store the clean jars and metal plastic coated screw-top lids in an accessible place. The sterilising method that we used is simple. Just before making the jam, I quickly wash and rinse the jars and place them upside down in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 160c/140c for fan assisted. When the oven has reached the right temperature I turn off the heat. The jars will stay warm for quite a while. I only use plastic lined lids for preserves as the all-metal lids can go rusty. I boil these for five minutes in water to sterilise them. If I use Le Parfait jars, I do the same with the rubber rings.

  Leave a reply


  1. Hello !

    I have just softened the fruit, which I covered with the pint of water listed in the recipe. Further on, it says to add the fruit and sugar and water. Is this what the pint was for? What should I do with the water the fruit has been softened in?

    Thankyou for your help. I’m looking forward to eating this. My favourite combination !

  2. Thank you fn – I made the remaining jam and left it alone for a while. It has firmed up so no need to reboil, I was just being impatient! It is a soft set but lovely – total of 36 pound of jam from one tree – wow!

  3. Can i make this recipe usng dried fruit?

  4. HELP! Last night I made 24 jars of victoria plum jam, have picked up a jar this morning and its still warm and runny, have I done something wrong or am I just impatient? The pan and spoon have a thin set layer of stickiness but will the bottled jam set? any suggestions gratefuly received. The smell of the plums last night was just amazing….

    • Fiona Nevile

      You can reboil the jam – gently. But leave it for a couple of days to see if it thickens up a bit more.

  5. I can never get the set right. This year’s blackcurrant jam (all 19 jars of it, with more fruit still in the freezer!) is too runny. It’s lovely with plain yoghurt, a topping for cheesecake or sauce for a steamed sponge pudding, though. I was wondering whether to try to reboil it some more to get a better set, or do you think that would be a mistake?

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Jan

      If you reboil you do lose a bit of the flavour but the effect is minimal. I’d add some lemon juice – to enhance the flavour and encourage setting. Why not try just a few jars and then compare the taste?

  6. Great, picked up 8 peaches for £1 on market now no one has any apricots 🙁

  7. Fiona- this isn’t jam related. What is the make and pattern of your gorgeous dishes?

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Paula

      It’s made by Johnsons Brothers and is called Indies. I think it’s now out of production but I’ve checked on and there’s quite a bit available in the US!

  8. Me too. It sounds my kind of jam.

  9. Ooh that does sound good. You’ve given me a yearning for toast and jam now!

  10. This sounds gorgeous. Sadly I am off work with tendonitis in my left wrist so jam making is a bit of a problem. Might try initial cooking in slow cooker then get someone else to lift pan etc. Will check market tomorrow for fruit. Can you remember about how many peaches you used rather than the weight?

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Suky

      I used four peaches and three punnets of apricots. Do hope that your wrist gets better soon.

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