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An easy recipe for apricot jam without pectin, infused with vanilla bean. This vanilla apricot jam is inspired by the apricot jam served with afternoon tea at The Promenade in The Dorchester Hotel in London and is my own copycat version for a small batch of four jars.
To make this apricot and vanilla jam, you'll need only four ingredients:
- Apricots - fresh apricots, cut in half and the stone removed. This recipe is best made with fresh apricots, but can be made with frozen as long as you allow these to defrost first.
- Sugar - superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar will work well.
- Vanilla pods - full pods are needed for the fullest vanilla flavour. You'll want to slice the pods in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pot. Add the pods as well to fully infuse the flavour.
- Lemon - a wedge of lemon will help to activate the natural pectin in apricots, without needing to add pectin to this jam.
How to Make Easy Apricot Vanilla Jam
The difficulty level of this recipe really depends on how comfortable you are with a candy thermometer and/or jam making in general. The steps are quite easy, but as anyone who finds themselves needing to reach a particular candy temperature stage will tell you - it's going to take some effort and patience to get there (and a lot of boiling sugar syrup).
For jam making, you will want a non-reactive, deep pot. First, halve your fresh apricots and remove the pits. These don't need to be peeled and can be thrown straight into the pot as halves with skins on. Add about ⅓ cup of water to the pan along with the juice of a lemon wedge. Once you've squeezed the lemon into the pot, go ahead and also add the wedge itself (you will scoop this out later before canning). The lemon helps to add natural pectin and thicken the jam.
Over medium-high heat, bring this to a boil. Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes while the fruits soften. Meanwhile, slice open two vanilla pods and scrape out the seeds with a sharp knife. When your apricots have softened, add the sugar along with the vanilla seeds and the pods to the pot. Stir these together and increase the heat to medium-high bringing back to a boil.
Either clip a candy thermometer to the side of your pan or use an instant read thermometer. You will need to check regularly (and carefully, not to burn yourself on the bubbling sugar syrup). You are looking for your mixture to boil, start thickening and reach roughly 104C (220°F). This took me about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once you've reached temperature, remove from the heat and carefully extract the vanilla pods and lemon wedge with tongs. Decant your mixture into sterilised jars. You can then leave these to cool and store in the fridge, or you can proceed with sealing them in a boiling water bath to keep for longer.
Yes! This recipe is for an easy fresh apricot jam with vanilla bean. The best way to add vanilla to jam is to use whole vanilla pods instead of using vanilla extract. This is because the flavour will infuse more fully and you will also have vanilla seeds visible in your jam, which adds to the aesthetic of the preserve.
If you don't have vanilla pods available, you can use vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste in this recipe, following the conventional guidance of 1 vanilla pod equalling roughly 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste.
This jam will keep for about one month in the refrigerator in unsealed jars or for several months if properly canned in sterilised sealed jars.
Yes indeed! You can freeze this jam - allow it to cool completely first for the jam to set. Then transfer to freezer safe containers. Freezing the jam, however, is not usually necessary as it will not dramatically increase the storage time for this jam and in fact a properly sealed jam jar will keep longer than frozen jam.
Looking for more jams and spreads? Try one of these:
Apricot Vanilla Jam
- Large deep sided pan
- 4-5 small preserving jars
- Candy thermometer
- 3 lbs fresh apricots cut in half and pit removed
- 3 cups superfine granulated sugar of caster sugar
- 2 vanilla pods
- 1 lemon wedge
- Add the apricot halves to a large deep saucepan, suitable for jam making.
- Add about ⅓ cup water to the pan, squeeze in the juice from the lemon wedge and also add the lemon wedge itself. Stirring and mashing down the apricots with a wooden spoon, bring this to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Once this has boiled, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the apricots are softened.
- Meanwhile, cut open two vanilla pods and scrape out the seeds. When your apricots have softened, remove the lid, add the sugar, vanilla seeds and the pods. Stir this together and increase the heat.
- Using either a candy thermometer attached to the pan or an instant read thermometer that you check regularly, bring the mixture to the jam stage of 220°F (104C). This will take some time - stir occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom.
- When the mixture reaches the temperature, remove from heat and carefully remove the vanilla pods and lemon wedge from the mix. Decant into jars to cool completely. (see note)