Here’s a little tidbit: I am not a big fan of jam. Yet there is something romantic about making your own preserves and storing them into beautiful jars. Just remember one thing: apricots and vanilla are best mates.
Before you start with the jam, start with the jars. Place the glass jam jars and lids in a pot of cool water and bring it to a boil. Do not put the jars straight into boiling water or the glass will crack.
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes six 250ml jars
1 kg fresh apricots
8 dried apricots
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tsp vanilla extract
Cut apricots in half and extract pits. If you wish, you can crack a few pits open and place a kernel in each jam jar.
Place the apricots in a very large stockpot and add water. Cover the pot and cook, stirring frequently until the apricots are tender and cooked through.
Place a small plate in the freezer. You would need this step to test if the jam is ready.
Add the dried apricots, sugar and vanilla to the apricots and cook, uncovered, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. As the mixture thickens and reduces, stir frequently to make sure the jam isn’t burning on the bottom.
When the jam looks thick and slightly jellied, turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on the chilled plate. Put back in the freezer for a few minutes then do the nudge test. If the jam moulds and wrinkles, it is done. If not, continue to cook, retest the jam until it reaches that consistency.
Once done, stir in the lemon juice and ladle jam into sterilised jars. Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, refrigerate until ready to use.