How to make apricot jam: An easy recipe with just four ingredients

Apricots are the perfect summer fruit, and with their sweet and tangy flavor, they also make the ultimate jam. Here's our simple and easy recipe to make this summer delicacy with just four ingredients.

Apricots are in season during summer, and this apricot jam recipe takes full advantage!
Apricots are in season during summer, and this apricot jam recipe takes full advantage!  © 123rf / zb89v

Jams and jellies come in countless flavors and varieties, and are one of the sweetest parts of the breakfast table. A perfect way to start the morning, this apricot jam recipe to slather onto your toast will elevate your morning meal to the next level.

Apricots are said to have an aphrodisiac effect, and in some countries are even symbolic of the desire to have children.

Could this be why it makes such an amazingly delicious jam? The mashed up fruit can quickly become a summer treat that is perfectly paired with cakes, pies, cookies, and even donuts.

With these simple step-by-step instructions, TAG24 brings you a quick-and-easy apricot jam recipe perfect for summer – or for keeping around all year long.

Apricot jam recipe: What you need

To cook the apricot jam, you'll need more than just the ingredients. In addition, you'll need a pointed knife, a mixing bowl, a blender, a grater, a saucepan, a funnel, and several jam jars.

Before cooking: All jars should be thoroughly rinsed with vinegar to prevent their infestation with germs or mold, thus extending its shelf life.

Apricot Jam recipe: Ingredients

This apricot jam recipe only contains four ingredients and will fill about five small jam jars. Here's what you're going to need:

  • 2 pounds of apricots (without the seeds)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 cups of preserving sugar / jam sugar (2:1 ratio of apricots used to sugar)

Apricot Jam recipe: Instructions

Step 1: Thoroughly wash all of the apricots and cut them into halves or wedges.

Step 2: Wash the lemon, grate off the peel, then cut it in half and squeeze out the juice into a small cup or bowl.

Step 3: With a sharp knife on a cutting board, slice the vanilla pod lengthwise. Using the back of the knife to scrape out the vanilla beans and set aside.

Step 4: Combine all the ingredients prepared in steps one to three, as well as the preserving sugar, into a medium-sized pot. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly for at least five minutes or until the fruit is soft and slightly translucent.

Step 5: Remove the saucepan from the heat and finely purée the fruit mixture with a hand or stick blender so that it is no longer chunky. You want it to be thick and smooth. Bring everything back to the stove, and then boil again for a few minutes.

Step 6: While the mixture is still hot, pour the apricot jam into the jam jars. Pour the mixture through a funnel to avoid spillage. Close the jars tightly, place them upside down on the lid for about five minutes, turn them over again, and leave them to cool down.

Did you know? The differences between jam, jelly, and marmalade are, among other things, their consistency. Whilst jam contains no visible pieces of fruit because it is well puréed, it still contains small real fruit, jelly is usually only made from the juice of the fruit and sugar. Marmalade usually includes both skin and fruit as it is mixed with sugar.

Apricot Jam: Tips and tricks

Apricot jam can be used in a variety of ways, even in smoothies.
Apricot jam can be used in a variety of ways, even in smoothies.  © 123RF / Sirah

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make the best apricot jam possible:

Tip 1: Despite the addition of lemon juice, the jam can lose its beautiful bright orange color and can turn brown. To prevent or at least delay this, the jam should be stored in a dark and cool place.

Tip 2: Apricot jam can keep for up to six months if sealed airtight and stored properly. Opened jars should be stored in the refrigerator and generally used within two weeks of opening.

Tip 3: Delicious apricot jam is not only used as a spread, but is also suitable as a baking ingredient for spreading on cakes and cookies, for the preparation of fruity salad dressings, or as a delicious addition to savory dishes.

Tip 4: In the ingredients list above, it's specified that the preserving sugar / jam sugar is 2:1. This ratio means that fruit and sugar are processed together with a quantity ratio of 2:1, respectively. For example, 1 pound of preserving sugar is needed for two pounds of fruit. For a larger quantity of fruit, the ingredients must be adjusted accordingly.

Tip 5: If you like to try new things, you can combine the apricot jam with other fruits such as honeydew melon, strawberries, or kiwis.

Tip 6: To give the apricot jam a special kick, it can be refined. A couple of lovely additions include a few lavender flowers, fresh rosemary needles, ginger or orange peel. It is best to put the respective ingredients in a tea egg whilst cooking and then remove them before blending and decanting.

How to make apricot jam without sugar

There are a couple of great alternatives to sugar when making jam. Use the recipe above, but instead of using preserving sugar, substitute one of these sugar alternatives:

  • A good and vegan alternative to jam sugar is Agar-Agar Powder, which is obtained from dried algae. Two level teaspoons are used for two pounds of fruit.

  • You can choose sweeter apricot variants and not use any kind of sugar. The jam will be very tart, but you can add some other fruit ingredients to make the taste a little bit more complex.

  • Use vanilla extract / syrup instead of vanilla bean. This has a small amount of sugar in it that will take the bite off the apricot's tartness.

  • You can use an artificial sweetener, like Stevia.

What to do with apricot jam

After boiling apricots into a smooth and silky jam, you can slather it on top of just about any food.
After boiling apricots into a smooth and silky jam, you can slather it on top of just about any food.  © 123RF / belchonock

Apricot jam is not only delicious, but it's also highly versatile. If you put your mind to it and get a little bit creative, you will find there are tons of different foods you can cook, pair, or dress with apricot jam.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Pair it with cheeses: Brie, especially if it's baked, as it goes incredibly well with apricot jam.

  • Add it to a cocktail: Get inventive with your cocktails or mocktails, shake things up, and develop a more sophisticated pallet.

  • Use it as a dressing: Apricot jam can go on more than just toast. Some other options include cake, scones, cookies, shortcake, and much more.

  • Add it to a savory sauce: To make the flavor of a savory sauce more interesting, try adding a bit of apricot jam. The flavors go especially well with Moroccan and Middle-Eastern-style dishes.

  • Put it into a grilled cheese: if you're feeling particularly lavish, add it to a grilled cheese. You won't regret it.

  • Make a smoothie: Try some of our favorites and add a heaping of apricot!

This easy apricot jam recipe is quick, and subbed in with other fruits for some fun variations – simply adjust the sugar proportions to taste. Whip this bad-boy up, and bring a zing to your food all year round!

Cover photo: 123rf/zb89v

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