Saturday, July 9, 2011

Vanilla Apricot Jam.

In the fall of 2007 we shared a wonderful roomy house with 3 other couples in the Tarn, a region in the southwest of France. I bought a jar of homemade apricot jam in a patisserie. The jam was flavored with vanilla beans and it was the best apricot jam I had ever tasted. When apricot season rolled around the next spring I decided to try making some vanilla bean apricot jam. This is the recipe I ended up with after searching French websites.

Vanilla Bean Apricot Jam

3 lbs ripe apricots 
2 vanilla beans
juice of 1 lemon (I use Meyer lemons)
5 cups fine white sugar

Remove the pits from the apricots and chop them coarsely. Place the apricots in a heavy non-reactive pan with the vanilla pods cut into halves.
Sprinkle the apricots with the sugar and lemon juice. Mix and let macerate overnight, ideally 24 hours. Stir once in a while.
The next day, remove the vanilla pods and fruit from the pan. Bring the juices to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Put the fruit back into the pan with the seeds from the vanilla pods and continue to cook for 30 minutes, minimum. At this point test to see whether the jam is ready by placing a tbsp on a cold saucer. (The saucer should have been in a freezer until it is well chilled.) Run your finger through the jam on the saucer. If the mark from your finger stays, the jam is ready. It the jam fills in the mark, continue to cook it. When the jam is ready, pour it into sterilized jars and seal them. Turn them upside down and let them cool. Once they are cool, turn them right side up.

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