I’ve made a few different types of jam this year, but my favorite new variety has to be this tasty apricot jam flavored with vanilla bean. I use this jam on toast in the morning as well as a filling for my jam tarts and the vanilla adds a subtle flavor, and a depth to the apricot jam that is really nice. I have given up using packaged pectin in my jams and found if I use lemon juice and bring the jam up to 220 degrees F. then I have no problem with the jam setting and it never gets too firm or wobbly as it sometimes seems to with packaged pectin.
Deborah Mele 2012
Apricot Vannila Jam
Vanilla bean adds a subtle depth of flavor to basic apricot jam.
- 4 lb. Whole Ripe Apricots, Washed and Dried
- 4 Cups Granulated Sugar (if you have vanilla sugar, use that)
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- Juice of 1 Large Lemon
- Halve the apricots, remove the pits cut into coarse chunks.
- Put the apricot and sugar into a large heavy bottomed pot, and stir gently to combine.
- With a sharp knife tip, score the vanilla pod lengthwise, then slice the pod into thirds or quarters, and add the vanilla pieces to the apricots along with the lemon juice.
- Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring occasionally so that the sugar dissolves evenly.
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the fruit has completely broken down, the mixture has thickened and the jam reaches 220 degrees F. (This will take at least 30 minutes but sometimes up to 1 hour).
- While the jam is cooking, bring a water bath to a boil in a large stockpot or canner and sterilize 6 half-pint jars in the water for 5 minutes.
- When the jars are ready, use the tongs to remove the jars to a countertop covered with a clean dishtowel.
- When the jam is ready, use your funnel and ladle to fill each jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
- Put the lids on the jars and use your jar lifter to put the jars back into the water bath, and process for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars to a counter space and let cool completely.
- Store the jars of jam in a cool, dark place for up to a year, and once open, store the jam in the fridge.