About a month ago, I was frantically making jam. You know, the jelly-like stuff that you buy at the grocery store? Only I don’t. Buy it at the store. I make my own. Always have. Oh sure, I’ve backslidden several times. But only out of desperation. Why desperate you ask? Maybe I ran out of the homemeade stuff. Or maybe I can’t find real strawberries to make jam out of. Or maybe I just was
too lazy too busy to whip up a batch. But the backsliddeness lasted only a short while.
I snap out of it as my mom calls Texas saying this cousin of hers has some blackberries. Or the man up the road just put a “Peaches For Sale” up in his orchard. Or I look at MY orchard and MY apricot tree is loaded (after being unloaded for 20 years) with gorgeous, aromatic, not-wormy fruit!!!! Bonanza!!
So I pick apricots. The grandkids pick apricots. Big Boss picks apricots. Side story: If you want apricots in one piece, do NOT ask spouse to do it. His idea of picking is to go out there and shake the living daylights out said tree. He was SO proud with his bounty of fruit. Of course most of it was bruised beyond recognition. Apparently I failed to point out that apricots are the easiest fruit known to mankind to bruise. Just look at it and it’s bruised. Sigh. Lesson 3,672 of Being a Smart Wife.
Anyway, because there was so much fruit, I just bagged it all up and shoved it in the freezer. For a later day. When I had more time. When I had tons of sugar. And jars and lids and Sure-Jell. Yeah, you guessed it, a year and a half later, EMERGENCY!!!! The cowboys just took a calf to the meat processor. The meat’s ready. Go get it. Quick. OK, I can do that but first…where the heck am I going to put all that meat. MY FREEZER IS FULL!!!! Of apricots. And that’s where the apricot jam comes in. I’m backed into a corner and HAVE to get jam made. Apricots have been removed from freezer, thawed and get ready for some jammin’ And so…I did. Make jam. Lots of jam.
As I was finishing the last batch, I wondered if I could possibly be lucky enough to record the jars sealing. I grabbed my phone (oh joy, joy, the joy of modern technology) and started recording the action. The jars were all lined up on the wooden bread board, hot, hot, HOT. They were ready. They were cooling. And within 2 seconds, I had my first (and only) hit! The 6th little guy up from the bottom (if you look real close, you can see the lid pop down) popped/dinged/pinged/sealed. Clear as a bell.
Nothing means success to a home canner like that ping. Nothing delights our ears and eyes more (unless you’re hearing, “Honey, I’m taking you to Hawaii!”) than checking those jar lids and seeing ALL of them sealed up proper like. Nothing. And now I give you (w/apologies for the URL. I canNOT figure out why my links are coming up this way!!)…The Ping…
Here’s my friend, bccmee‘s, version:
and FINALLY, a recipe!!!
Apricot Jam Cake (of which I have a freezer full of but sadly no pics)
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
Add: 4 large egg yolks
1 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have it, take a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and add milk to make a cup then let it set a few minutes before you add to the mixer.)
1 cup Apricot jam (Yeah, store-bought will work!)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla (the real stuff NOT the extract!)
Mix slowly and well with mixer. Remove mixer bowl from mixer, grab a spatula and fold in, by hand, 4 egg whites that have been whipped in a separate bowl till not quite dry…stiff. When egg whites are incorporated into the batter, pour into a tube cake pan or a bundt pan (spray the pans really REALLY good with a baking spray like Baker’s Joy OR smear shortening in every little nook and cranny then shake flour over it. No guarantees on that method tho, especially in a bundt pan. I always use my angel food cake pan that has the pop out bottom)
Bake for 15 mins at 300 degrees, then up the temp to 350 and bake for 45 mins. to an hour or till the sides pull away from the pan slightly. Let cool in pan on a rack for about 15 mins then remove from pan and let cool completely on the rack. Very moist and tender cake to die for!!! Big Boss’s favorite cake recipe and it’s an old one from his coaching days in Texas from a Sister Coach’s wife.