Sally Bower's Apricot Pineapple Sauce
From Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family (Workman) by Judy Bart Kancigor
This recipe began as Aunt Sally's conserve, which is a thick spread of fruits, nuts, and sugar. Take away the nuts and you have preserves. Omit the nuts and cut the fruit into smaller pieces, and you have jam. Cook the jam for a shorter time and you have a glorious, fruity sauce with a punch of citrus, begging to be poured over ice cream or cake.
I had never made conserve (or jam or preserves, for that matter) before I tried Aunt Sally's recipe. It became such a favorite that I included it in my Rosh Hashanah cooking classes as a sauce for my mother's Nova Scotia Honey Orange Sponge Cake (above). Talk about easy! I would begin the class by asking for a show of hands: "How many of you have never made jam?" followed by "How many of you can open a can?"
1 pound dried apricots, halved (cut larger ones in thirds)
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
3 1/2 cups sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup broken walnuts (optional)
- Place the apricots in a medium-size saucepan, add water to barely cover, and bring to a boil. Boil until almost all the water has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in the pineapple, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and salt, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a steady, but not hard, boil and cook, stirring often, until there is almost no free liquid when a spoonful is placed on a saucer, about 50 minutes. As the liquid evaporates, you will need to stir more often to make sure the mixture does not scorch. Stir in the walnuts, if using, during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Spoon the conserve into sterile canning jars and seal according to the manufacturer's directions. Or spoon it into sterile jars, filling them three-fourths full, allow to cool to room temperature, and freeze.
Makes about 2 pints
Variation: A Topping for Ice Cream or Cake
Snip the apricots to the size of raisins. Proceed as described in Steps 1 and 2, but stop cooking when the apricot-pineapple mixture is fairly loose (looser than you would like to serve it, as it will congeal as it cools), about 30 minutes. Omit the nuts. Serve warm over cake or ice cream.