This Apricot + Clove Jam is an easy way to get the most out of the summer's fleeting apricot bounty. It is low in sugar and is perfect smeared on toast, mixed into yogurt, used in your toddlers daily pb&j, or even dolloped onto a big serving of vanilla bean ice cream. Yummy jam goodness for the entire family:)
There is nothing like cracking open a jar of homemade jam! It gets even better when you know someone that loves making it for you and just hands over a couple of jars at a time so you can enjoy it without even bothering with the clean up (hint hint.. mom).
But this jam is so easy to make, you will now be the person giving out the jars of jam to all your neighborhood friends.
This apricot jam is something I would never thought to make, except that organic apricots where on sale for .44 cents a pound.
So naturally, I bought 11 pounds! <---------completely not normal!
I had apricots in everything - mixed with yogurt, tossed into smoothies, chopped for the girl's breakfast, lunch and dinners and even sprinkled some with cinnamon and grilled for a ice cream topping (uh yea, that was about as delicious as it gets).
After all of that, I still had roughly 4 pounds of apricots left.
You know what that means...
It's JIMMY-JAMMMMMMMMY time!!!! (all caps needed!)
The best part about homemade jam, is that you can add anything that you want to it - which in my case means adding in a ton of spices and leaving out over half of the amount of sugar that normal jam recipes call for.
Since I am by no means a 'canner' and find the entire process of canning confusing and way too time consuming, I use a freezer method for this jam.
Freezing things I am good at!
All of this means, is that you just make the jam, pour into some sterile jars, screw on the lids and freeze.
It's about one step (and one ingredient) beyond making baby purees.
While the total hands on time for making this jam is only 30 minutes, you do have to let the apricots chill overnight in the fridge. So make sure you start this jam recipe way before your apricot cravings start!
I have never heard of marinading fruit before making jam before, but trust - this step is where it is at!
This marinading (or chill-time as I like to call it) is this jams secret weapon for keeping the jam looking so bright and true to color.
We definitely do not want sad brown looking jam.
Bright happy colored jam is what we want in our lives!
You let the apricots, sugar and cloves hang out for 12 hours (or overnight) to let the juices start to break down the apricots. Then it's a quick trip to the stove for 20 minutes, a few smashes with a back of a spoon to break up the big chunks... and viola, you just made jam.
Good ways to eat this jam:
- On toasted brioche bread with a thick spread of butter and jam.
- Used on your toddlers daily pb&j
- Mixed into your morning oatmeal along with a long pour of heavy cream
- Swirled in yogurt with a sprinkle of flax seeds, chopped almonds and a drizzle of honey
- Gently heated and then served over a big bowl of vanilla bean ice cream **best idea ever**
Apricot + Clove Jam
3 pounds apricots
1-2 cups sugar*
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp almond extract
1. Pit and quarter your apricots.
2. Place the apricots, sugar and cloves in a glass bowl and gently stir until incorporated. Cover and let chill for at least 12 hours.
3. Meanwhile, sterilize your jars by submerging them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Let dry on a clean towel.
4. Transfer the fruit mixture into a large saucepan and bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil, stirring often, for another 20 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and add almond extract. If you like a chunky jam, break the big pieces of fruit down with the back of a spoon. For a smoother jam, use a hand blender or blender in short bursts until you get your desired consistency.
6. Pour jam into sterilized jars, wipe down tops of jars, seal and put into freezer when jar is cool enough to touch with your bare hands.
* I like my jam barley sweetened and used 1 cup of sugar in my recipe. If you like your jam more on the sweet side, you can add an additional cup to the recipe.
Yield - roughly 10 cups of jam
Storage - 1 month in fridge or 1 year in freezer