My favourite kind of jam is apricot. Especially if it really tastes like apricot. Apricot jam slathered on French bread. Or with cream cheese on a bagel. Or with plenty of butter on pancakes or waffles. Or….
I got sucked into buying some really inferior apricot jam and was so disappointed. No wonder it was being sold for such a remarkably low price!! The jar is nice though. (We’re going to use the rest of this apricot travesty to make marinade for chicken – if it ever gets warm enough to barbecue!)
But as I was leafing through the copy of Baking With Julia that I recently got from the library, I found not one but TWO recipes for apricot preserves. Yesterday, I made a variation of “apricot Lekvar” that calls for dried apricots on page 449. I used dark brown demerara sugar instead of the light brown that Julia Child suggested and cognac instead of amaretto (because we didn’t have any amaretto) and I also left out the chopped blanched almonds. The result was very good but very very thick. So I added more water and brought it to a boil just for a second to mix it all together. And then added a pinch of salt.
Now THAT’S apricot jam! Just in time for pancakes tomorrow!
edit: Here is what I did to make the jam.
based on “Apricot Lekvar” in Baking with Julia by Julia Child
- ½ c whole dried apricots
- water to cover
- 1 Tbsp demerara sugar (or any brown sugar, probably)
- 1 generous tsp Cognac
- more water to taste
- pinch salt
- Rinse apricots. Put them whole into a small pot and cover with cold water.
- Simmer gently for about 15 minutes til they are soft and easy to prick through with a fork.
- Take off the heat. Drain off most of the water but keep it in reserve. Add salt, sugar and cognac. Pur&ecute;e.
- Put back into pot over low heat. Add more water as needed, stirring with wooden spoon til the jam is the consistency you like. Pour into a clean glass jar.
Store in the refrigerator.