Apricot Preserves Recipe: Jam Making as Alchemy{79}

best apricot jam on toast

This apricot jam recipe is golden on all levels, a mixture of simple ingredients creating a whole greater than the sum of its parts.  As my favorite jam, it’s a dollop of sunshine I can count on any time of the year.

fresh apricots ready for jam

I have given up trying to grow apricots in the Maritime Northwest (my first public admission). They’re fussy little trees that are beacons to any imaginable plant or insect problem nature can dispense, blooming well before pollinators appear, succumbing to peach borers and rotting at the roots where standing water prevails.

Don’t think I’ve tried; I could make a log cabin in dead apricot trees. Nope, this boy has seen the light.  Apricot Eden is only two hours east of the Cascade Mountains, and they deliver.

apricot jam simmering on the stove

Introducing Alsatian Apricot Jam

This apricot jam comes from the Alsace region of  France, which borders Germany and Switzerland, a culinary destination known for lip-smacking rich food and fine wine. The recipe does not disappoint, transforming fresh and dried apricots, wine, vanilla and orange zest into a lavish spread of sensory overload. (Hyperbole? I think not.)

homemade canned apricot jam

Alsatian Apricot Jam Recipe

Adapted from Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds fresh apricots
  • 12 ounces dried apricots
  • 4 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 Vanilla beans
  • 10 ounces of Gewurztraminer wine

Preparation:

  1. Chop dried apricots, place in bowl, add Gewurztraminer (you want a fruity white wine, Riesling works, too), soak overnight
  2. In a new bowl, quarter fresh apricots, remove seeds, chop to a bite size bit
    1. In nonreactive pan, add fresh apricots, sugar, orange zest/juice, and lime juice
    2. Split vanilla beans in two and scrape seeds in to apricot mixture
    3. Also add the beans (remove before canning)
    4. Simmer about 10 minutes, mixing all ingredients together until sugar dissolves
    5. Remove from heat, cover, refrigerate overnight
  3. Next day, add dried apricot mixture to fresh apricot mixture
  4. Stirring, simmer until thickens, and remove vanilla beans
  5. Put the jam in jars and seal in water bath

I tend to simmer only for a short time and shut off the heat, letting the jam cool. When convenient, I reheat for a short time again  to thicken the jam through evaporation. This jam sets up nicely and without much fussing. (Photos are from my latest batch–one of many.)

recipe for fresh apricots made into jam

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