Variations on Apricot Jam

I tend to like my jam fairly plain. Fresh raspberry jam is magical. Just raspberries, sugar and lemon zest. Maybe a little lemon juice, maybe a little pectin if you want to get the set right without a lot of tinkering. But I don’t want to post about the same old jam. That said, at the same time I don’t like my jam to become something its not. There’s a lot of fancy jam out there, but I like when it stays true to its roots.

That said, whenever I set out to make apricot jam its totally a hassle. There are very few apricot growers in Connecticut, so finding local ones usually means a drive. Once you finally get the apricots, it takes a while to clean them up. Then when you finally get everything in a pot, the jam bubbles up when you least expect it, splattering everything and everyone (ouch!) in its path. Moreover, it foams like hell. All of that said – make this jam. It’s worth every second to make this labor of love.

Plain Ol’ Apricot
4 cups apricots*
1.5-2 cups sugar
Pectin, of your choosing, if you choose

This is an easygoing jam. Mash/chop it the fruit, if you want – or leave it as apricot halves. It doesn’t matter too much here. Macerate it the night before if you feel like it. A splash of amaretto is lovely if you macerate. When ready to can, cook the fruit and sugar down to your liking. Add pectin, if you so desire. Cook to 220°, pack in hot jars with hot, wet lids and process for 10 minutes.

*Marisa has a great post about why you should not double jam recipes.

So, am I boring you already? Moving on.

Apricot Sour Cherry Jam
2 cups apricots
2 cups sour cherries
2 cups sugar
Cherry pits and apricot kernels
Pectin, of your choosing, if you choose

I’ve been forgoing pectin all together in most of my jams lately. They hold together well enough, but I like them with a little looser set these days. Sort of goes with the go-with-the-flow attitude of late as well. This jam is much the same as before, except with a new fruit combination and the pits. If you are uncomfortable with the kernels and their almond flavor, dont use them. I add the kernels in a cloth bag and steep them with the jam, I just take them out before I add pectin. It adds a nice little something extra, I think.

Moving on again. I had the remnants of 40 lbs of apricot seconds, and I needed something to do with them. I began searching for suggestions. Punk Domestics had recipes for apricot chile jam (not really my thing) and apricot vanilla jam (meh, I had overdosed on strawberry vanilla in the beginning of the season and wasn’t feeling it). I began looking around my spice rack. Apricot mostarda (a la What Julia Ate) was an idea, but I wanted more jam. Black pepper didn’t blow my proverbial skirt up, either. Then I found the pimentón. Its also called smoked paprika – and if you don’t know about it you should. I put it in almost everything – chalk it up to my semester in Spain. It adds a nice smokiness without heat, and really can add quite a lot of depth without a lot of effort (my kind of style). So in went the pimentón. But it still needed something – it was really one note. A little grey salt took it over the edge. I. love. this. jam. (So do #punkberry folks, apparently, and they haven’t even met yet!)

Apricot Pimentón Jam or Confitura de albaricoque con pimentón
4 cups apricots
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons pimentón
2 tablespoons grey salt
Pectin, of your choosing, if you choose

Maybe it was just looking for something different but I really have enjoyed this happy accident of a jam. Its also a particularly gorgeous jam. So if you don’t happen to have smoked paprika in your pantry – go get some! And then make this.

5 thoughts on “Variations on Apricot Jam

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  2. nomnivorous

    So I’m curious – do you know how many pounds of apricots are equivalent to 4 cups of apricots? About how many pints of jam does the pimenton jam make?

    I want to translate it to peaches but I’m using part of a larger batch of peaches so I’m figuring out how the paprika and salt translates to the amount of peaches I want to use.

    1. Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen Post author

      I always measure by cups. 2 parts chopped/smashed fruit to 1 part sugar (i.e. 3 cups peaches to 1.5 cups sugar) for commercial/blog recipes. I might cut the sugar for my own. Never more than 4 cups fruit or it doesnt cook down right. Extra can always be stuck in the fridge! Let me know how it turns out.

    2. Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen Post author

      Oh and the apricot pimentón recipe made 6 half pints, I think. Apricot foams like hell so you might lose some that way.

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