Everything is so filled with promise right now that it’s hard not to get giddy. And then disappointed. Because your hunger for new things exceeds their output. The berry bushes are filled with buzzing bees but the fruit is far off. This year (knock on wood) is off to a very good start. Blossoms abound. I have two greengage plum trees that I almost pulled out two years back, but after cutting back prodigiously and spraying with neem oil religiously, it looks like one of them is really on it’s way to health, and perchance, to fruit. The strawberries have just begun to blossom. The rhubarb is the “fruit” closest to harvest. Every day I take a walk around the yard, hungrily.
In the meantime, there are winter things to use up. In particular, a small bag of dried unsulphured apricots and crystallized ginger kept on getting forgotten in the bottom of my dried fruit bin. Recently, I picked them up together and decided they were meant for each other. The resulting jam is thick, rich and spicy. It’s delicious with vanilla yogurt and a handful of almonds. The intensity of dried fruit almost works even better with savory dishes. This jam slathered on some sourdough bread and grilled with cheddar cheese, for example. Also a great foil for roasted pork. Last year there were no apricots at all, a very sad thing indeed, so this makes up for it a bit. In the meantime, I will start dreaming on all the potential fruit to come.
Dried Apricot and Ginger Jam
4 ounces dried apricots, thinly sliced
2 ounces crystallized ginger, roughly chopped
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon
Put the sliced apricots and chopped ginger in a small pan. Add the water and bring to a boil, simmering for about 15 minutes until the mixture has softened and homogenized. Add the sugar and lemon, and then cook until thickened. Put in a jar, and keep in the fridge. (NB: I realized afterwards that honey would have been perfect in this. I would try it with 1/4 cup.)