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Update: This jam is very sweet, so I made another batch doubling the apricots to 1 pound. It's a much more balanced result. I've updated the quantity below. This is a lovely, tasty and sweet way to use up some of those zucchini that are taking over your garden. Great for gifts. It's an adaptation of a recipe I found in "A Passion for Preserves".
- Place the apricots in a bowl, cover with cold water, cover bowl and soak overnight in the refrigerator.
- The next day, simmer the apricots in the water until tender. Drain well and chop coarsely. Set aside.
- Get your canning equipment and jars ready.
- Prepare the zucchini - cut off the ends, peel, seed if large, cut into chunks and weigh.
- Microwave zucchini in a minimal amount of water in a covered, vented bowl 10-12 minutes.
- While the zucchini is cooking, wash the lemons, grate off the zest, cut in half and ream out the juice.
- Drain the zucchini well. Puree in food processor, blender or mash with a potato masher.
- Put the zucchini in a very large (3 quart)bowl, add the apricots, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Stir well - it will become liquidy.
- Ladle half the mixture into a 2 quart microwave safe glass bowl. Don't use plastic - the jam gets too hot for plastic when it cooks.
- Microwave 7 minutes on 100% power, stirring every 2-1/2 minutes.
- Hint: Use a small note pad to note a tick mark for every stir so you don't lose track of how long it's been cooking.
- Add the ginger, if using.
- Microwave 12 - 16 minutes longer, stirring every 4 minutes until it will set a gel.
- I use the cold plate method to determine if it's ready to set: at the start of cooking place a small plate into the freezer. After you start timing the cooking in 4 minute intervals and the jam has cooked for a total of 8 minutes, take the plate out of the freezer. Place a drop (about 1/2 tsp.)on the plate. Return the plate to the freezer and wait 2 minutes. Don't cook the jam while you are waiting. Take the plate out again. Draw a line through the drop of jam. If the jam doesn't run back together, it's set. If it does, continue cooking and testing in 4 minute intervals.
- When ready to set, remove the ginger slices and ladle the jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe the rims clean, put hot lids in place and tighten to just finger tight.
- Process in boiling water bath 5 minutes.
- Repeat steps for remaining mixture.