Sunday, June 26, 2011

Caramelized apricot jam

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Caramelized apricot jam.

Also known as "This is what happens when you're working at home and you get an unexpected conference call" apricot jam.

My home office is at the other end of the house from the kitchen. I didn't see or smell the jam boiling over until it was too late. I salvaged what I could.

On the up side, the jam had an unusual, deep, beautiful color (russet? auburn?). I had never seen apricot jam like this. And the flavor was complex, almost a little smoky, unlike any other apricot jam I'd tasted. I've discovered that this caramelized apricot jam pairs beautifully with almond butter, and it's fabulous with a ripe brie - the slightly burnt sugars give it some really unusual overtones.

On the down side, it took a week of soaking, several wads of steel wool, and the elbow grease of three people to get the pot and the stove clean. 

Great jam. I highly recommend it. But prepare yourself for the cleanup.

print recipe

Caramelized apricot jam
Even absent-minded cooks can make good jam. It's not burned. It's caramelized.
  • 1 pound fresh apricots, pitted and chopped
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
In a heavy saucepan, combine the apricots and the sugar, and stir to combine. Let the fruit sit an hour at room temperature, stirring once or twice to redistribute the sugar. The sugar will draw the juices out of the fruit and create a syrup.Put the pot over medium heat and bring the apricot mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and continue to cook at a simmer about 1 hour, or until the jam has turned a deep rust color and you can feel some burned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan when you draw a spoon through it. Let the jam cool a bit, then transfer it to a clean jar or plastic container. Store in the refrigerator and use within 1 month. As soon as you remove the jam from the saucepan, soak the pan in hot water. You may have to soak it for a few days. You'll definitely need some steel wool to get rid of all the burned-on bits.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 pints


Cheri said...

This looks delicious! My goal is to try making jam and canning this summer.

Anonymous said...

try baking soda to help you clean the pots, saves some of your elbow grease...sounds amazing by the way~ cant wait to try it with brie :)

KitchenTherapy said...

I posted a jam recipe to, but mine was plum just yesterday. great minds think alike :D.
The jam has a lovely colour, doesn't look burnt at all

SweetSavoryPlanet said...

Many great dishes are discovered via mishaps. Sounds like you discovered one. It looks lovely. One way I get color like that in my peach jams is by leaving the peel in. I wonder if it would work for apricot.

Erika Kerekes said...

Sweet - actually, I don't peel the apricots ever, and the jam's normal color is bright yellow-orange.

kristy said...

I love when accidents turn into something glorious like this - how delicious! And I've been on a mission for truffle salt since your egg post. I finally found some and am waiting for it to come in the mail. :)

The Cilantropist said...

I am no stranger to kitchen disasters so I completely understand! Glad you salvaged what you could! :)

boutique hats said...

Some moments are sometimes blessing in disguise, you may find it awkward but it's fulfilling.

Greg said...

I love when accidents work out so well. Looks fantastic.

Ellen Harris-Braun said...

I have always wondered about soaking pots. After an initial period of soaking, say 30 minutes, does additional time really make a difference? Or is it just a way to postpone the application of much elbow-grease (or shift the job onto someone else in the household who comes along to the kitchen sink later)?

BonnieBanters said...

I've always said accidents can create beautiful art!
This jam sounds amazing! Thanks!

Cookin' Canuck said...

Sometimes kitchen mistakes produce the best results. This sounds like one to "overcook" again, Erika.

The Duo Dishes said...

Nice! We've definitely had things go well that seemed to have gone awry. This would be good with brie, proscuitto and basil too. Delicious.

sophistimom said...

This looks delicious. The apricots are almost ready outside. Can't wait to make some of my own.

Anonymous said...

We tried making apricot jam in a slow cooker and left it on for about sixhours but was too liquid, so put in a pot and boiled for an hour. Finished with a caramelised jam but without the burning and problemsassociated with burning some of it.

Erika Kerekes said...

@Anon I don't think jam works in the slow cooker because evaporation is a necessary part of the process and slow cookers are generally pretty well sealed.

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