Apricot Elderflower Jam

Apricot Elderflower Jam

Each time I make jam, I’m always surprised at how tasty it turns out. As I stir the pot of bubbling fruit and sugar, I always think to myself, “Is this going to be too sweet? Or too one-dimensional?” But I’ve discovered a few tricks to achieve good balance and flavor. The first is to use lemon or lime to balance out the sweetness. Once your jam has reached a desired consistency, taste for sweetness. Stir in some citrus juice until you reach that perfect sweet-tart balance. It’s that easy! Next, add depth of flavor with a liqueur. If you’re making raspberry jam, add some Chambord. Blueberry jam? Try Limoncello. Or pair Art in the Age Rhubarb Liqueur with a batch of strawberry jam. Just 1 to 2 tablespoons of liqueur will add some major flavor to the jam.

With this Apricot Elderflower Jam, I’ve mixed beautifully ripe apricots with fragrant St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur. Both the apricots and liqueur have floral notes, and the marriage of the two is nothing short of heaven. Seriously. After my first taste, I gasped and exclaimed, “OMG.” Make this jam now while apricots are still in season. St. Germain is a little on the pricey side, but I guarantee you will enjoy every last drop (especially mixed with champagne!). Continue reading for the recipe.

Apricots and St. Germain

I used a special variety of apricot for this recipe called Crimson Velvet. I know that sounds a bit like a strip club, but I assure you that they are unbelievably tasty. If you live in the San Diego area, you can get them right now at Specialty Produce. If you can’t find them in your area, you can certainly use regular apricots. Just make sure they are ripe.

As the jam cooks, its color transforms from yellow-gold to blushing red. It’s really quite remarkable. Like a sun setting over the Pacific ocean.

Jam Foam

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Apricot Elderflower Jam
 
Author:
Recipe type: Jam
Serves: About 6 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fresh apricots, cut in half and pitted
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon St. Germain liqueur, plus more to taste
Instructions
  1. Set 2 small plates in the freezer. These will be used later to test consistency.
  2. Place the halved apricots and water in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook the apricots until tender (timing will depend on how soft they are at the beginning).
  3. Remove the lid and add the sugar, stirring to combine. Increase heat to medium and let the mixture violently bubble up. Eventually the bubbles will start to rise and with them a white foam. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Once you've skimmed all foam, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the mixture thickens and reduces. Be sure to stir frequently to keep the bottom from burning.
  4. To test the consistency of your jam, take one of the plates from the freezer, and spoon a small amount on the plate. Return the plate to the freezer, and wait 2 minutes. Push the chilled jam with your finger. If it starts to pile up on itself, it's done. If it seems too thin, cook the jam for 5 to 10 minutes more, and test again. This whole process took me about 35 minutes.
  5. Once you've achieved the desired consistency, take the jam off the heat. Stir in lemon juice and St. Germain liqueur. Add additional citrus juice and liqueur to taste. I sprinkled in a bit more lemon juice and another splash of liqueur.
  6. Transfer jam to a large, clean container (or several small containers), cover tightly, and let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Related recipes and articles:

Baby Apricot Clafoutis

Little Apricot Cakes

Whole Wheat Apricot Crostata

St. Germain Mojito

Apricot Miso

Comments

  1. says

    St. Germain liqueur is awesome. I remember you told me awhile ago that you bought some when I had a Frangelico post go out. And now…I see why. Of course with champagne is great, too.

    There’s this new cookbook I got called Cooking with Flowers? (sorry I think that’s the title..lol) anyway, it’s AMAZING about all the ways to use flowers and plants in cooking. Things like dandelion cookies and just some crazy (but fabulous) recipes.

    Your jam in stunning. I love apricots!

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Thanks Averie! I’ve heard of Cooking with Flowers. I have yet to find a good, cheap source for edible flowers though. I guess I could grow them :P

  2. says

    What a gorgeous color! I have to admit making jam is something I’m a little afraid to try. It seems so … complicated. Your recipe is very easy to follow, I might have to give it a try! Great to see you Saturday!

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Great to see you as well Lisa! Don’t worry about jam making – it’s very forgiving. If your jam ends up too loose, just cook it more. If it tightens up on you, then add a little water. Enjoy!

    • Brandon Matzek says

      There’s no real substitute for St. Germain in the liqueur world. I know Ikea sells an elderflower cordial, but I have yet to try it. This should give you the same flavor profile; however, it will up the sweetness, so you’d have to add more lemon juice to taste. You could take this jam in a different direction and try orange liqueur – Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Enjoy!

  3. Nancy says

    St Germain is my all time favorite and apricot anything, I love! There are no Crimson Velvet apricots in Mpls. I’m guessing the plain will be fine BUT will the jam still have this beautiful color?
    Thanks!

  4. Nancy says

    Just finished making this tonight. I used regular apricots. Messed up by putting the sugar in at the beginning, it didn’t matter, this turned out spectacular! It cooked more like 45 minutes due to my mistake maybe. It yielded 5 cups for me. Even with the regular apricots the color is stunning. Wow! I love the St Germain flavor (added about 3 Tbs) because I could. We had it with triple cream goat cheese brie from Whole Foods. I am so thrilled with this recipe! Thank you SO much!
    Nancy

Trackbacks

  1. […] I had a chance to eat it all, I decided to make this Raspberry Apricot Jam.  Using my recipe for Apricot Elderflower Jam as a template, I simmered fresh raspberries and apricots in a bath of dry, aromatic white wine. […]

  2. […] My mum makes the best jam. A child­hood friend of mine recently admit­ted that she first became friends with me because she loved my mum’s black­berry jam so much. While in France vis­it­ing my mum this sum­mer, we enjoyed sev­eral dif­fer­ent fla­vors and came home with a cou­ple of pre­cious jars. Our favorite was the rhubarb, apri­cot and orange jam, and last week­end, we made a batch. I think we could have pulled back a lit­tle on the sugar, but it was the right con­sis­tency and the kids loved the project. You can find basic jam mak­ing tech­niques online, but I am try­ing this recipe for apri­cot elder­flower jam next! […]

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