Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spiced Apricots and Pears

When I was a young girl, I always looked forward to my Aunty M's overflowing sparkling holiday dessert table. I mean this literally was the thing of little girls' dreams, the pies, the cakes, the treats. I know from the mind of an adult, that it didn't sparkle. But somehow, I seem to remember that it did have a sort of magical glisten. And with out fail, as if you could set a clock by it, there was always her hot mixed fruit salad. More of a pie filling in syrupy treacle and then anything that could ever be inferred by the word salad. Nonetheless, this is my homage to that delicious sweetness of my childhood and the delicious sweetness that my Aunty M still adds to my life today. Now, I like to package these up in pretty jars with ribbon to share with others. Oh it is delicious on nearly everything, I like it with vanilla ice cream or cold ham leftovers.

1 large can of apricots in syrup (if it is in juice add 1/2 cup of icing sugar)
1 large can of pears in syrup
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or any white vinegar you have
2 sticks cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chili flakes
1/8 teaspoon of cardamon
1/8 teaspoon of all spice berries
3 whole cloves
3 cardamon pods
1/4 teaspoon of peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt


Pour your entire ingredient list in to a heavy bottomed saucepan and allow to come up to a boil. Once there, let the spicy exlir happily bubble away for a minute or so. Cool and spoon into jars this golden treasure for unsuspecting but very lucky recipients... including yourself.
Cook's Notes...

You certainly could simplify this for yourself by using a pie spice mix or some mulling spice. Simply stir in 2 tablespoons of the mulling mix or 1 tablespoon of the pie spice mix, and omit the rest of the spices save the peppercorns, salt, and chili flake.

I know preserves can be a tad intimidating. My friend Meg and I once embarked on three day exposition into the depths of Strawberry Jam Purgatory, of which I am not sure she has recovered. Nonetheless, we emerged with delicious jam that I enjoy today. But the reason you preseve with cavity-inducing amounts of sugar and sterlized glasses is so that it can stay on the shelf for years and years. I don't want this to last until the next ice-age, just in the ice box. So, you needn't mess about with the sterilization of jars. Just put them in the heated wash of dishwasher, store in the fridge, and use the contents straight away. I don't think I have ever had any go bad...

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy giving!

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