apricot jam

easy homemade apricot jam

I’ve been getting so many apricots in my CSA box the last couple of weeks, so my neighbor and I decided to get together this past weekend and jam. If you’ve never made your own jam before, it’s so easy your grandmother can do it. Oh wait, she probably did.

Speaking of grandmothers, even though Martha Stewart is technically an ex-con, her past crimes are irrelevant to her current homemaking skills. Taking a cue from her 4 minute “how to make apricot jam” video for the ratio of fruit to sugar*, I used the following quantities. My loot of forlorn countertop apricots could finally fulfill their glorious culinary destiny.

  • 4 pounds fresh apricots, cut into small chunks
  • 4 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
  • 10 apricot kernels (save and smash the pits with a hammer. inside of each pit is a kernel that will look like an almond and smell like almond extract)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Juice of 2 lemons

Put everything in a pot, bring it to a boil and while simmering, imagine how awesome it will be to spread on a scone. I made about 7 cups of jam (as shown in the photo above). I could have done with less water, actually, as it took me over an hour to boil everything down.

After your jam is ready, you need to store it using proper canning techniques if you want it to last long. Mason jars are ideal, but if you make a small batch you can store your unsealed jar(s) in the refrigerator and try to eat all the jam within a month. If it’s been longer, check for weird smells and/or signs of mold before you dig in.

More recipes:

*Martha’s recipe from the video makes 4 cups. She advises to use 2.5 lbs fresh apricots, 3 cups sugar, 5-6 kernels, 1/4 cup water and the juice of 1 lemon.

Q: What’s the best variety of apricots to use for making jam?

I’ve made apricot jam twice now, using whatever was in season that came from my CSA. The first time (pictured above) I used an equal combination of Robada apricots and Golden Sweet apricots, and the second time only Blenheim apricots.

If I ever make it again, I would definitely use the Robada and Golden Sweet apricot combination for both the color and flavor. The jam turned out a bright, darker red-orange and the flavor was amazing but hard to describe. It was just… less apricotty, and more peachy. On the other hand, the light orange-colored Blenheim apricot jam was closer in taste and aroma to store-bought apricot jam and dried apricots, so it was a familiar flavor and less interesting.

Bi-Rite Creamery Chocolate Pot de Crème

Bi-Rite Creamery's Chocolate Pot de Crème

Spotted this at Bi-Rite Market’s new location on Divisadero. If you have only tasted JELL-O chocolate pudding cups, this will probably blow your mind.

The French name translates to pot of cream, but it’s more like cream, milk, bittersweet chocolate, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.

It’s indulgent, in taste and price ($4.95 for one small cup), but so so good. Try some!

Bi-Rite Market
San Francisco (Alamo Square/NoPa)

cronut

Last Friday, Dominique Ansel Bakery announced it would be adding a new pastry to its menu: the cronut, officially trademarked today.

Dominique Ansel's Cronut, NY (South Village)

Here it is again, ungracefully cut into quarters.

Cronut, side view

The flaky, donut-shaped, vanilla cream filled indulgence sells for $5 and has been selling out within half an hour after the bakery opens.

Engineered by pastry chef Dominique Ansel, the cronut is a croissant/doughnut hybrid made with sheets of pastry dough that have been proofed and fried. It’s crispy and sweet on the outside, creamy on the inside.

Flavors change monthly, with lemon maple and dulce de leche slated for June and July.

If you don’t get one, chill. And definitely don’t flip anyone off. Seriously, that’s so rude!

 

Tip: Arriving at 7:30-45 am on a weekday is a good bet you’ll get a cronut as well as a seat inside. (When we arrived at 7:35 am this morning, for example, there was hardly anyone in line, but after 8:30 am they were sold out).

[June 5, 2013] Update: The line is now over 2 hours long with a limit of 2 per person.

Dominique Ansel Bakery
New York, NY (South Village)

Have you also tried the DAK? Cast your vote below.

Café Silltruten

Café Silltruten in Vaxholm

Cozy little cafe with assorted cakes (including a solid moist apple cake), coffee, sandwiches, and ice cream.

Café Silltruten
Vaxholm, Sweden

Libanesen

Libanesen in Stockholm

For 295 SEK per person (with a two person minimum), you can order a scrumptious smorgasbord sampler of food enough to feed you for days. It comes with more than what is in this picture (our table had to be cleared several times), ending with cardamom-spiced coffee and baklava.

Word on the street says it’s the best Lebanese food you can find in Stockholm.

Libanesen
Stockholm