Juicy, tender, and full of flavor, fresh apricots are great by themselves but there is only so much of them that a single person can consume in a season. To use up these precious stone fruit, I recommend you to make this gorgeous homemade Apricot Jam flavored with cinnamon and featuring candied orange peel!
Apricots are not common in my country. In fact, I would have probably never known that it’s perfectly possible to grow these rich and fragrant stone fruit in Lithuania if not for Igor who once told me a story about a huge tree that sat (maybe it’s still there but nobody checked for the last 15 years or so) a few blocks away from his grandma’s flat.
That tree, according to Igor’s childhood memories, was packed with apricots every single summer. It actually belonged to someone and was behind a fence but a few limbs hang over the fence line into the alley and ripe fruit were sometimes falling right under your feet. At least that’s what my husband told me. My guess would be that maybe, just maybe, kids, including Igor, sometimes might have helped the fruit to end up in their hands… But that’s another story.
Fast forward to today, after weeks of searching, I finally laid my hands on a box of fresh local apricots. Their fantastic smell immediately filled my kitchen. The comparison between locally grown and out-of-season supermarket apricots is impossible because these are like two different fruit. Super soft, juicy, fragrant vs hard, flavorless, usually picked unripened. You choose!
We literally sat and ate half of the box the same day. Adam also loved them very much. I decided to use the remaining fruit to make homemade apricot jam for the first time in my whole life.
No canning, though. I will include a link to canning instructions but, keeping in mind that this recipe makes just three 17 oz. (500ml) jars, I made a decision to simply gift one to my mother, another one to my sister, and leave one to ourselves.
I am pretty sure we will finish our jar before spoilage because there are already many great ideas on how to use it in my head. Chicken with apricot jam (recipe coming soon), baked brie with apricot jam (doing this one for the blog too), or simply as a topping for our favorite syrniki. Not even to mention simply slathering it on toast. I’m starting to think that one jar may be not enough for us!
To make it more interesting, I’ve chosen a recipe with candied orange peel and cinnamon. They complemented apricots really well. It actually was, once again, the first time I have ever made candied orange peel. A really awesome addition to jams!
Ok, enough talks, I’m off to make that apricot chicken. No doubts that it will turn out great. The recipe soon on the blog!
Apricot Jam with Candied Orange Peel and Cinnamon
- 2 oranges
- 4 cups (800g) sugar
- 2/3 cups water
- 2 1/4 lb (1 kg) apricots
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Cut off the top and bottom of each orange. Cut the skin into quarters. Remove the peel including white pith and cut into strips.
- Transfer the strips to a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and return the peel to the saucepan. Add 1 cup sugar and 2/3 cups water. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- When done, drain the remaining syrup if there is any left and set aside. Pour the peel onto the cooling rack, separating strips, and let dry.
- Cut the apricots in half and remove seeds. Squeeze the juice out of the oranges. Coat the bottom of a large pot with butter and arrange the apricot halves. Add the remaining sugar, cinnamon, orange juice, and the syrup from cooking the orange peels. Stir well and leave for 5 hours so the apricots soak up the flavors.
- Place the pot on the fire and simmer for 20 minutes over a very low heat. Then raise the heat and keep simmering for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the very end, add the candied orange peel.
- Remove from heat and ladle the jam into clean jars. Cover tightly and refrigerate once cool. Enjoy!