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.
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.
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.
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.
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.