Apricot Jam

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    3 cups

Appears in

Good to the Grain

By Kim Boyce

Published 2010

  • About

This recipe is about as simple as it gets—a spoonable preserve made with just fresh apricots and a bit of sugar. My favorite apricots are Blenheims, which are small, dappled, and very orange, with just a bit of green where they’ve been pulled from the tree. When perfectly ripe, Blenheims give when gently squeezed, and you can find a small puddle of juice at the pit. If you don’t have access to Blenheims, chose floral and flavorful apricots.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds apricots
  • ½ to ¾ cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like your jam

Method

  1. Put a small plate into the freezer for testing the jam later. Set up an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and about 1 cup of water. Set a smaller bowl on the counter next to it. (Do not set the smaller bowl inside the larger bowl yet; if you do, condensation will line the bowl and water down your jam.) Put a rubber spatula next to the bowls.
  2. Split the apricots in half and remove the pits. Add the apricots and the sugar to a 5- to 7-quart pot. Give the fruit a stir with a sturdy wooden spoon. Set the pot over a medium flame and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apricots have softened and the sugar has melted.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring the fruit constantly. As the apricots warm up, their juices begin to run, leaving the halves of apricots surrounded by their nectar. After a few moments more, the apricots should transform into a soft orange purée with steam wafting up from the pot. Finally, the jam should thicken slightly into a combination of purée and intact pieces of fruit.
  4. Near the end of the cooking time, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. The finished temperature of this jam should hover at about 200°F. When the jam is done, move the pot to a cool burner. (Don’t leave it on the burner it has cooked on; even if you turn the flame off, the residual heat will overcook the jam.)
  5. Remove the plate from the freezer. Test the jam by placing a spoonful of it on the plate (see Sidebar). It should thicken promptly when you do so.
  6. When the jam is finished, using potholders, pour the pot of jam into the smaller bowl. Scrape out every bit with the spatula. Set the bowl into the ice bath and stir the jam a few times to allow some of the heat to escape.
  7. Cover the jam with plastic wrap so that the plastic is touching the surface of the jam, to keep a skin from forming. Once the jam is completely cooled, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.