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.
- 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)
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.
Transfer the preserves to a clean, quart size jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Photo Cindy Rice