I am cross with myself for not bringing a box of apricots back home with me from our recent holiday in France, especially after discovering how simple it is to make la confiture d’abricot the ‘French way’. I have seen recipes which suggest putting a split vanilla pod in the mix, or some lemon juice, and even boiling up several of the apricot stones, cracking them to release the kernel then chopping them into the jam.
However, life is too short and this easy recipe comes from the book “L’Armoire à Confitures by Laurent Dutheil and Jane Glyn Phillips. The ingredients are simply apricots and sugar absolutely nothing else. I got some apricots very cheaply in Asda (Walmart) in USA.
I was then tempted to make some Lavender Vinegar which is also very simple. Why not make some whilst the lavender is still in flower for sprinkling on your salads? Simply two ingredients again – two garlic cloves and the flowers from 10/12 lavender heads added to white wine vinegar.
The garlic clove above is one of those large single headed garlic. I shall just use two chunky slices from it.
Both the Apricot jam and the Lavender vinegar require the ingredients to be added to them and then simply wait.
Once stoned, I used a kilo of halved and quartered apricots (mine were very large) then left them covered under a snowy mountain of 750g of sugar and 18 hours later here they are ready for some gently cooking – this is called macerating them – the sugar has vanished and the juice extracted.
18 hours after adding the flower heads and garlic to the white wine vinegar it turns this delicate pink. Leave this for a few days and then decant into your glass salad vessel.
Bring the macerated apricots gently to the boil as above, then simmer slowly for 20 mins – bottle the jam in pre-heated glass jars.
P.S This method can also be used with other fruits.
Same measurements 1 kilo fruit + 750g sugar
Raspberries and other fragile fruits – macerate 8 hours
Strawberries – 10 hours +juice of 3 lemons after maceration
Plums – 12 hours
Peaches the same as apricots.
This French method makes a moist jam which is also delicious on ice-cream, creme fresh, and yogurt.
To form a good seal and vacuum in the jars, the French turn them upside down straight after filling the jars and leave until cool.