Apricot Vanilla Bean Jam
First appeared in Grainews on 23 August 2022
Vanilla’s floral notes are a warm counterpoint to the sweet-tart nature of apricots. Alternatively, add lemon zest; or, if you like the lemony-floral nature of coriander, finely grind some seeds and add them instead of the vanilla seeds and pods. This jam is the bomb on vanilla ice cream and any toasted bread; In the baking kitchen, a thin layer of it up-levels a chocolate cake, nut torte, or custard pie. Plus this recipe is the ideal venue to utilize those forgotten hardened vanilla beans languishing in your cupboard. This jam darkens as it ages, so eat it within six months for the best colour. Makes 6 half-pint jars
apricots, pitted and chopped
packet powdered pectin
white sugar or sugar alternative
Prepare the canner, then wash and sterilize jars and lids. Keep the jars hot in the canner’s boiling water.
Combine the apricots, lemon juice and pectin in a heavy-bottomed pot. Use a potato masher to mash up the fruit. Stir in the sugar.
Split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Use the tip of a small knife to scrape the seeds inside the pod into the pot, then add the two halves of the pod as well.
Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Boil hard for two minutes, then skim off any foam. Pick out and discard the seed pods. Ladle into jars, add lids, seal, and return to the canner. Cover, then process at a rolling boil for 15 minutes. Remove to a counter out of the breeze, cool, and label.
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