A few weeks ago, I got absolutely giddy over the sight of apricots.Really I did and my reaction even stunned me a little.I was so happy to see apricots at the grocery store I just couldn't keep it together.And this is not the first time this has happened.
Yep it's true and I'm totally ok with admitting it.
The same giddy-over-apricot happened last year about this time and again I fell for some fresh apricots.
They are a delicate fruit and in this almost oppressive Southern heat I just don't expect to see them much.So that means that they might be shipped in from somewhere else and well thats ok by me.I only want enough to make one round of apricot jam and I will be on my merry way. Thank you.
Apricot jam is one of my most favorite jam flavors.I love apricot jam and ooohhh the other day I saw a recipe for Apricot Butter. Now slap me silly that sounded amazing! Luscious,sweet,clean flavors of fresh apricots cooked down to make a rich butter and wait for it...and if I can it,I can have have a jar of that goodness in the middle of winter. The thought was almost too much to bear and well I'm sorry to say my dreams took a detour.
So what had happened was I bought the two pounds of apricots the Apricot Butter recipe called for (hopes building,oh joy!). Saturday morning rolls around and....
Oh thank my lucky stars something came to me.
I have made enough jam to know a few of the ropes and I knew I had enough puree to make a few jars of a fine apricot vanilla jam. Called off the dogs,shut off the alarms and my blood-pressure came down a few notches,now off to make some jam.
The apricot jam is this trusty canning recipe cookbook was a big hit last year,so hey I broke out the pectin,followed the recipe for the jam substituting the apricot puree for the chopped apricots. I knew the jam might be a little thinner,but just as tasty. It was tasty,so tasty.
Apricot Vanilla Jam! Ta-da! I know you're thrilled and probably still a little shocked. Funny thing is I will probably just act just as excited as the first time,the next time I see apricots in the produce section. I love them that much. If you see them,make this jam. And after you taste this jam,you will act giddy all over again.Enjoy!
Apricot Vanilla Jam
adapted from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
makes 6 half-pints ( 8-ounce jars)
2 lbs apricots-halved and pitted
half of a vanilla bean
juice of one orange
1 package regular powdered fruit pectin
7 cups granulated sugar
1. Prepare your canner,jars and lids.
2. In a large stainless steel saucepan or preserving pan,add the halved apricots and water.On a cutting board carefully split the vanilla bean half down the middle,turn the knife over and with the dull side of the knife scrap out the middle of the vanilla bean. Add the vanilla bean piece and vanilla specks to the apricots. Cook the apricots down over medium-high heat until tender and a little juicy.
3. Add the apricot mixture to either a food mill with medium grade disc or a food processor. THIS MIXTURE IS HOT,BE GENTLE AND WORK IN BATCHES IF YOU WANT. Puree the mixture until you have 3 cups of puree.
5. Add the puree back to the same pot you cooked the apricots in,whisk in the orange juice and pectin until completely dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat,stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full boil,stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam if any.
6. Ladle hot jam into prepared jars,leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rim,center the lids and screw one rings until resistance is met and then increase to finger-tip tight.
7. Place jars in canner,ensuring they are completely covered with water.Bring to a boil,return canner lid and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid,wait for 5 minutes more then remove jars to a cooling rack. Let sit at least 12 hours to cool and seal.