The Joy of Apricot Jam

 

Apricot jam brings me great joy.

I can take one lick of the sweet, tangy, golden goodness and be immediately transported to another time and place. I’m taken back to our honeymoon spent in Greece. I’ve been sharing My Yanni’s scrumptious Greek family recipes this summer and Yaya’s simple apricot jam has to be one of my favorites. Isn’t it fascinating how food can instantaneously connect us to our past through our sense of taste? The *ahem* older I get the more I become aware of the things that really matter in life.

I’ve realized that some of the most important things in life are actually the simplest of things.

Family & friends, love & laughter and the memories that are woven out of them…those are the things that bring me the greatest joy.

Remembering something as simple as the early morning walks with My Yanni to fetch a fresh loaf of bread for Yaya’s apricot  jam, can bring a smile to my lips. Finding the photo of My Yanni climbing Yaya’s apricot tree…now that makes me smile ear to ear.

Yaya’s apricots were like tasting golden sunshine packed inside a soft, fuzzy orb. And the jam that they made…that Yaya Eftehia made…was like nothing I’ve ever tasted.

Pure perfection.

Even better yet, Yaya’s name Eftehia, means joy. And boy, if that jam didn’t bring joy to all who tasted it. For years My Yanni & I have fondly talked about that apricot jam. We  laugh about sneaking bites out of the sweet boiling pot before it was time, and how yaya would scold us and chatter to herself as she shooed us out of her kitchen. I still to this day have the recipe I scribbled down as My Yanni translated Yaya’s instructions but until recently, I’ve never attempted to make her golden goodness.

Until now.

This simple bowl of apricots inspired me to dig out Yaya’s apricot jam recipe.

Isn’t that funny that a simple bowl of apricots could quietly encouraged me to make Yaya’s jam?

And boy am I glad I did.

Let me show you how easy it is…

Wash, cut and remove pits from apricots.

Place apricots in a pot with a tiny bit of water- I put in one teaspoon.

Cook apricots over a low heat, stirring occasionally soft.

Keep an eye on the pot as they cook down and eventually soften. I had a pound of apricots and it took about an hour.

Once soft, squash them with a wooden spoon or fork and measure the amount of gooey deliciousness in a measuring cup. For every one cup of fruit add one cup of sugar. Isn’t that easy? That tip demystified making jam for me.

I shall never be afraid to make jam again. 

Add sugar.

The addition of sugar will make the consistency of the jam temporarily thinner, so continue to cook over low heat, (for about 30-45 minutes) stirring occasionally until jam starts to thicken.

I have another easy tip from Yaya that put the joy into making jam for me.

Simply drip a drop of jam into a bowl of water. If the dripped drop stays…

the jam is ready…if the drip dropped melts away it needs to cook longer. How fun is that?

Once the jam is drip-drop tested, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice (I used half a lemon for the one pound of apricots) and a few drops of good vanilla. Let cool, spoon jam into a covered jar or even a bowl and keep refrigerated.

Or better yet…

Grab a spoon and dig in.

Ahhh, the simple joy of apricot jam.

Pure perfection.

Wenderly

Easy Homemade Apricot Jam

(makes about 2 small jars)

What You’ll Need:

1 pound apricots
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon water
Juice of half a lemon
2 drops good vanilla

Note: Ratio of apricots to sugar is one to one. Measure the fruit after it is cooked down and soft.

What You’ll Do:

Wash, cut and remove seeds in the apricots.

Place apricots in a pot with 1 Tablespoon of water.

Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about an hour until apricots cook down and become soft.

When apricots are soft smash them with a fork or wooden spoon.

Add one cup of sugar and continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about another 30-45 minutes until jam starts to thicken.

To test for correct consistency, drip a drop of the jam into a bowl of water, if the drip stays in a ball in the water the jam is ready.

Add juice of half a lemon, 2 drops of vanilla, stir and let cool.

Place in your favorite container and store in refrigerator.

Enjoy!

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26 Comments

  1. Posted July 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Lovely! Really, so pretty and I can almost taste it!

  2. Posted July 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Ohhh Wenderly, I love this! I guess I can say, “oh you guys, this is my JAAAM!” Or, or, “hey guys, I’m about to get my JAM on.” OR….ok, I can chill.

    I’m seriously going to JAM out to this.

    sorry.

    xoxo!

  3. Posted July 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I made fig jam today and it was divine. This is next on my list, I adore apricots!

  4. Posted July 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    One of my favorite jams! I need to find me some apricots!

  5. Posted July 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Ooo….I’m going to have to forward this recipe to my dad…he had apricot trees in his yard. I think I might need to go supervise this jam! ;)

  6. Posted July 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Grandmother’s jam’s are always the best aren’t they? I know my grandmother inspired me to start making my own jams too.

  7. Posted July 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I love apricots and the season is so short , this is a great way to enjoy them! Love the photos-gorgeous!

  8. Posted July 29, 2011 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I loved your description – I can practically taste it :-) YUM.

  9. Posted July 29, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Do not fear the jam dear Wenderly.

  10. Posted July 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I love apricot jam but am now hitting myself, as they say, ‘upside the head’ because I’ve never made it! So, perfect timing…because I’m sure there is none better than a recipe from your Yaya!

  11. Posted July 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    jam is gorgeous but you know me and the story Miss Wendy . . . sigh . . . i love Yaya . . .

  12. Posted July 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous jam. My grandmother always made apricot fried pies when I was growing up. I love the stories that go with your recipes, always brings a smile to my face.

  13. Posted July 31, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    This is just a beautiful post and gorgeous jam! I want to go find some apricots and make Ya Ya’s recipe!!!

  14. Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    This looks delish! And I love the helpful hints you gave from your grandma on determining the jams consistency. Have you ever considered canning the jam to keep it longer????

    • Posted August 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      You know, now that I have tried making jam I do believe that I am ready to try canning! Actually, I’m excited about it!

  15. Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The picture of your grandmother made me smile! I recently went back to my grandmother’s home in Fall river, Massachusetts to the very kitchen we cooked in every day. I also smiled ear to ear! The most wonderful gift was that my Uncle George has kept my grandmother’s home the same way for twenty one years! Can’t wait to make your Apricot Jam recipe! Thank you for sharing your memories with everyone!

  16. Mary Beth
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    do you need to peel the apricots? it looks wonderful!

    • Posted August 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mary Beth! No you don’t need to peel the apricots! The soft skins just melt down and add a lovely texture to the finished product!

  17. Posted August 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi my dear W,

    Haven’t made this yet. But, my sister and I just ran out to the store to buy about 5 lbs of apricots – just because we can. We’ re gonna make this together. So excited.

    I loved your story about Yanni and Ya Ya.. So sweet.

    So, my children had this very jam (that i was lucky enough to smuggle home from Big Summer Potluck) on pb&j today for lunch. And my 7 year old son wishes to send you a message : “mommy – will you please tell Miss Wendy that her apricot jam rocks?”

    So, there you have it.

    xo
    Stephanie

    • Posted August 1, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Hello darling Stephanie! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! *huge, happy, grin* Please tell your cutie patootie son that I say “thank you so very much” (and that he made my day) Miss your beautiful sunshiny self! Let me know how the jam making session with your sis goes! Big 8 second hug to you!

  18. Posted August 1, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful story, beautiful jam!!

  19. Posted August 1, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely post, this jam is seriously stunning!

  20. Posted August 2, 2011 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Wendy, this is really the best of the best! I could easily go through a jar of that on my own :)

  21. Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I can’t ignore my apricot jam desire anymore. Beautiful post. And that photo is adorable.

  22. Posted August 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Love your post, it’s all so true! And what lovely jam! :-)

  23. Posted August 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely LOVE apricot jam, and my favorite is to add a dollop onto a slice of baguette with some melted brie! It is delicious. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful, and meaningful, recipe!

One Trackback

  1. By Mingle Monday {8-8-11} | Add a Pinch on August 7, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    [...] girl trailing along behind them soaking it all in, would they? Read this about her gorgeous Apricot Jam and you’ll want to pack your bag and head there with me — er, them. I mean [...]

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