Apricot & Vanilla Bean Jam
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Apricot & Vanilla Bean Jam

I had never really understood the appeal of continental breakfasts. Flabby croissants, burnt toast, orange juice without bits (orange juice should always have bits) and jam that tasted of sweet stuff. Then I moved to France. Rarely a day goes by without a morning trip to the bakery for my prized tradition.

With it’s golden crust and chewy centre full of perfect butter-holding craters, the tradition is the perfect chariot for homemade jam. Now I finally understand the appeal of the continental breakfast. I like my jam as the French do – not too set and definitely no too sweet. For a tiny bit of extra effort and a lot of extra taste, add the apricot kernels to the jam as you’re making. Apricot kernels have a distinctly almond-like taste which adds a summery aroma to your jam.

Apricot & Vanilla Bean Jam

Apricot & Vanilla Bean Jam

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Course: BreakfastDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

jars
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes

For a tiny bit of extra effort and a lot of extra taste, add the apricot kernels to the jam as you’re making. Apricot kernels have a distinctly almond-like taste which adds a summery aroma to your jam.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg fresh apricots

  • 800 g jam sugar

  • 1 vanilla pod

  • 1 lemon, juice of

Directions

  • Put a couple of small plates in the freezer and prepare your sterilised jars. 
  • Halve and stone the fruit, reserving around half of the stones.
  • Out the sugar and fruit into a preserving pan or heavy-bottomed pan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and to the pan, along with the lemon juice.
  • To extract the kernels, wrap each apricot stone in a tea towel and give it a single, confident bang with a rolling pin. You should be able to release the kernel from the stone with a single hit. Discard the shell pieces and repeat until you have a handful of kernels.
  • Put the pan of apricots over a low heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil for 20-25 minutes until thickened.
  • To test the setting point of the jam, place a spoonful of jam on the cold plate for 30 seconds and then push it with your spoon or finger. If it winkles up, you’ve reached your setting point. I like my apricot jam quite runny so I’m not after distant wrinkles here.
  • Ladle the jam into sterilised jars and store in a cool dry place. Once opened, refrigerate.

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