Simple Apricot and Vanilla Bean Preserves

This easy apricot jam recipe by Heather Hardcastle of Northern California’s wonderful gluten-free Mecca Flour Craft Bakery will have you smearing an English muffin with stone fruit-vanilla goodness in a little more half an hour.

Simple Apricot and Vanilla Bean Preserves

This recipe is one of baker Heather Hardcastle's favorites. She says, "It's so simple but crazy delicious. I always make a large batch when I see the first of the season fruit at the market and hoard it all for myself in a back corner of my fridge so no one at my house will find it. It’s (almost) too good to share!" We completely agree!

When preparing the recipe, resist the temptation to fold a load of laundry or browse Instagram once the jam starts to bubble—it thickens up quickly and can burn if you're not keeping watch. Be sure to have a clean jam jar or two ready; this recipe makes enough that you can keep some and gift some! If you prefer less chunky jam, feel free to mash the larger apricot pieces with a potato masher or the back of a spoon as they cook. Preserves keep refrigerated for 2 months.

Servings 64 tablespoons
Calories 26 kcal


  • 2 pounds apricots rinsed, halved and pitted
  • 1-½ cups sugar
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped and pod reserved (get them here)


  1. In a large copper jam pot or heavy 5-quart Dutch oven, combine the apricots, lemon juice, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the vanilla seeds and pod and let it come back to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat as needed to avoid burning or sticking to the pot, until the mixture turns thick (but not quite as thick as jam, as it will thicken as it cools), most of the apricots have broken down, and the color intensifies to a vibrant orange, 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Transfer the preserves to a clean, quart size jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Nutrition Facts
Simple Apricot and Vanilla Bean Preserves
Amount Per Serving
Calories 26 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 38mg1%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 273IU5%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 2mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Photo Cindy Rice

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