Apricot jam has such a wonderful bright color and the flavor is equally irresistible. It's smooth, almost aromatic and the perfect addition to toast and so much more.
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Despite having some fond memories of making jam with my mum as a child, it wasn't something I kept up as an adult. As much as anything, I wasn't a big jam eater so it didn't make sense.
As I mentioned when I shared my strawberry peach jam a while ago now, the kids getting jam with pancakes at a local cafe changed that. And now various varieties like strawberry raspberry jam and mango jam are firm favorites.
In fairness to the kids, I, too, have some tasty memories of enjoying jam when we went to Austria during many of my childhood summers. The owner of the bed and breakfast we often stayed in made all of her own jams which I happily enjoyed at breakfast time.
Apricot was always a favorite, so it was only a matter of time before I made some myself.
Lower sugar, but lots of flavor
As with most jams I tend to make, this jam is lower in sugar and smaller batch. Yes, this means you need a larger amount of fruit for an equivalent yield, but I think the flavor is better. You really taste the fruit rather than just sweetness plus it's healthier too.
True, we are talking relatively as it still has some sugar but it's a lot less than many typical versions. Since the sugar is the preservative power for jams, especially when it's lower sugar I prefer to make a smaller batch. This means I don't need to worry about possibly wasting some.
The one other (possible) downside of lower sugar is that it doesn't set as firm. This is definitely a soft set jam which works for us, but just be aware - this isn't going to turn out jelly-like. Unless you cook it that bit longer, which may give a darker color.
Making apricot jam
While this is relatively quick and easy to make, it has one extra step compared to some jams that I recommend you don't skip: removing the skins. I recommend doing this before you start cooking rather than straining after so you can have more of the tasty flesh in the end jam.
I know it may seem like a pain, but it's definitely worth it as the end texture is much smoother. Plus, it doesn't take long. Especially if you put them in hot water for a minute of two as you do to peel peaches or tomatoes, it slides right off.
After that, you simply put the chunks of fruit (without stones) in a pan with the sugar and lemon and heat it up. With a small quantity as I made here, a relatively small pan will be fine, but if you make a larger amount, I'd suggest a fairly wide pan. More surface area is good to help it thicken up faster.
Let it simmer until it reaches the right thickness (test some on a cold plate and it should "wrinkle"), then transfer to a sterile jar.
Being lower in sugar, I recommend keeping this in the fridge, at least once open, but it will keep there for a good few weeks. That's if you manage to make it last that long, as you may we'll find you want to add it to everything.
Apricot jam has such a wonderful depth of flavor that's aa bright as its beautiful color. It's easy to make and definitely one to try soon.
Try these other jams and spreads:
- Concord grape jam
- Lemon curd
- Blackberry jam
- Plum jam
- Plus get more jam, sauce and condiment recipes in the archives.
- 9 oz apricots (weight without stones - around 10.5oz/300g with stones)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Place the apricots in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave them for 1-2 minutes then drain. Peel the skins off the apricots with the side edge of a knife - the skins should comes off easily. Roughly chop the apricots and discard the stones. Place a small pate in the freezer to chill (to test jam later).
- Put the chopped apricots, sugar and lemon juice in a small-medium saucepan and put on a medium heat. Stir as it heats to dissolve the sugar. Break up the apricots with a spatula/spoon a little as they soften. As it cooks, prepare your jar/jars - either warm in a low over a few minutes or submerge in boiling water to sterilize. Take care using tongs/gloves to handle as you remove.
- Bring the jam to a simmer, reduce the heat a little and simmer for approximately 10 minutes (or longer, as needed), stirring occasionally. It will start to thicken and the fruit chunks will dissolve into the mixture - when you stir a spoon/spatula through, it will take a bit longer to close in behind. You can test it by putting a small amount on the chilled plate - leave it a minute or put in the fridge if it doesn't cool quickly. When cool, you can push the jam on the plate with your finger and it should wrinkle a little on top.
- Remove the pan from the heat, allow to cool a minute or two then skim off any foam. Transfer to your prepared clean jar(s) and put lid on while still hot. Leave to cool.
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