This festive jam is made easier with a slow cooker, which is safer than a pot on the stovetop for kids to check in on and stir. If your child likes chopping as much as mine does, the soft, stable citrus segments will provide good practice; younger children can cut soft dried apricots into pieces using scissors.
3 large oranges
2-3 cups dried apricots
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup water, orange or cranberry juice
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1. Grate the zest of the oranges and lemons using the coarse side of a box grater. Peel off the white pith and discard it, and coarsely chop the fruit. (This is easy for younger kids to do if you separate the fruit into sections.)
2. Cut the apricots into pieces using scissors. (The pieces don’t have to be even)
3. Put the grated orange and lemon peel, chopped oranges and lemons, chopped apricots, cranberries, water, ginger and sugar into the bowl of a slow cooker. Stir to mix it well, and add the cinnamon sticks. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours, stirring occasionally after 3 hours.
4. When the mixture has the consistency of runny jam (leave it to cook longer if it needs it, but keep in mind it will firm up as it cools), remove the cinnamon sticks and ladle the jam into warm, clean jars, leaving about 1/2″ headspace. Wipe the rims and seal according to the manufacturer’s directions. Alternatively, cool the jam completely and transfer to containers or freezer bags to refridgerate or freeze.
5. If you are using lids with screw-on rings, write the type of jam you made on the bottom of paper muffin liners. Once the jam has cooled completely, take the rings off, cover the lid with the muffin paper and screw the rings back on.
Makes about 5 250mL jars, plus extra for your toast.