Thick, tart, and sweet, Dried Apricot Jam is great on toast, smeared onto scones, or baked into thumbprint cookies!
If someone had told me twenty years ago that I would be making my own apricot jam, I would have scoffed at them. In fact, if Facebook had been around back then, I would have unfriended them too! (Don’t you just love how social media has taught us to behave?)
DEVELOPING A TASTE FOR DRIED APRICOTS
I have never been a fan of apricots – fresh or dried! My mom and my dad would eat dried apricots like they were candy. I remember them both making dried apricot jam, and of course, I remember dried apricots being the star of many cakes, biscuits, and cookies.
To tell the truth, I’m not sure when I started to like them, but I do know that it was after my divorce. I know this, because my ex wife and her mom both used to prepare this Apricot Raisin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake, and I would pick the raisins and apricots out religiously. Now, I can’t get enough of apricots – and raisins too!
I will often eat them as a snack. I love dried apricots with a few almonds, a slice of cheese, and a few crackers. Place those on a plate and hand me a hot coffee and I have a what I would call a delicious snack or a small lunch! I often will bake chopped dried apricots into scones or tea biscuits too.
DRIED APRICOTS HAVE MANY USES
But, dried apricots are not only used in sweets or baked goods. They’re great in savoury dishes too, like my Israeli Couscous Dried Fruit Salad. I have a great recipe for a pork loin that is roasted with dried apricots. It’s so delicious! It’s on my list of recipes that I want to post to Lord Byron’s Kitchen. (That list is so long!)
Ok, so let’s concentrate of the Dried Apricot Jam. When all is said and done, you’re going to be left with five jars of jam. Does that seem like a lot of jam to you? Or does it seem like very little? I guess it depends on how much jam you and your family consume. Let’s pretend that you think five jars is too much. What could you possibly do with it all?
Besides spreading it on toast, English muffins, or biscuits, etc, why not try some baking? If you have not tried my Vanilla Layer Cake, you should do so and use up some of your Dried Apricot Jam. Or, try my No Bake Cheesecakes – this jam pairs so well with cream cheese! I’ve even used Dried Apricot Jam in my Traditional Christmas Linzer Cookies!
SAVOURY DISHES WORK WELL WITH APRICOTS
Dried Apricot Jam is not just limited to baked goods either. Try glazing pork or chicken with the jam. It’s so good. I tend to glaze with jam about 20 minutes before the chicken or pork is cooked. Since the jam has a high sugar content, it can easily burn if you cook it for too long. Oh, another great way to use this jam is to place a small bowl of it on a cheese board or platter. Guest will gobble it up with cheese and crackers!
Swirl some into your yogurt or ice cream. Add a spoonful on top of your pancakes or waffles. Stir some into oatmeal or other hot cereals. Use it as a spread on a turkey or chicken sandwich. And, of course, you can always be an even better friend than you already are and gift a jar of homemade Dried Apricot Jam to your friends or neighbours!
STORING APRICOT JAM
Remember, this jam will keep in a cool, dark cupboard for a year. That’s a long time, so five jars of jam might not seem to be too much after all! I think I just wrote this in another canning/preserve recipe post recently, but think about this – why not start now and make a preserve or two every month. By the time Christmas comes, you can package a selection of preserves and pickles up in a basket and gift it to your loved ones. Everyone loves homemade preserves!
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Dried Apricot Jam
- 5 250 ml mason jars with screw bands and new, unused sealing discs.
- Water Bath Canner with Jar Rack
- Jar Wrench/Lifter
- Canning Funnel
- Non-metallic Bubble Remover
- Magnetic Lid Lifter
- 3 1/2 cups dried apricots
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups sugar
To Prepare Mason Jars:
- Wash mason jars and screw lids in soapy water and rinse soap off well under running hot water. Place clean jars on a baking sheet and place in oven preheated to 200 degrees. Set screw bands aside. Next, boil a kettle of water and pour into a clean glass bowl. Carefully submerge the sealing discs in the bowl of hot water. Set aside.
- Add the apricots, water, orange juice, and lemon juice to a large saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil of medium heat. Once the mixture begins to boil, cover and continue to boil for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, fill your water bath canner to the halfway mark with water and add the jar rack. Bring to a full boil.
- Transfer the entire contents of the saucepan to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is broken down to a consistency you prefer. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, add the sugar, and over high heat, bring the mixture to a full boil while stirring constantly.
- Once the mixture has been at a full bubbling boil for 1 minute, remove from heat.
- Ladle the jam into prepared mason jars using a funnel to prevent the sauce from touching the rim of the jars.
- Use the non-metallic bubble remover to remove any air bubbles.
- Wipe down the rim of each jar with a damp paper towel to ensure no sauce has come in contact with the rim.
- Carefully remove the sealing discs from the hot water with a magnetic lid lifter. Position the sealing disc directly onto the lid of the jars. Do not touch the underside of the lid.
- Screw on the screw bands until firm – do not apply pressure! Just use your fingertips to tighten the screw bands.
- Using the jar lifter, place the jars into the water bath canner with the boiling water. Do not place the lid on the canner.
- Boil for 20 minutes. Carefully remove each jar from the canner using the jar lifter. Try not to tilt the jars. Place jars onto a wire cooling rack that has been covered with a clean kitchen towel.
- Leave the jars to cool for a minimum of 12 hours. Once cooled, wipe the jars of any residue that might have been transferred to the outside of the jar during the boiling process. Label the jars and store in a dark, cool cabinet for up to one year.
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