Since the redesign, I’ve been torn on activating the thing, because I think it makes the site seem just a tad busy. And also because I don’t update constantly so it feels like overkill.
But over the past 24 hours, I’ve gone a little blog-crazy. I’ve posted not one, not two, but three stories since last night. Far be it from me to do the logical thing and hold on to one or two to share a little later when life is crazy and I don’t have the time to photograph and write. Oh no. Whole hog right here.
No no, this story is not about a pig roast.
It’s about vanilla apricot jam.
Last week when we camped in Eastern Washington, we stopped at a fruit market (or two) on the way home and bought a big ol’ box of stone fruit – fresh local goldrich apricots, nectarines, donut peaches, freestone peaches, plums… heaven. But then the days started to go by and that rustic apricot-plum tart I had in mind didn’t make itself – and so jam it was!
I made peach plum jam (which is terrific) and vanilla apricot jam (equally so). The vanilla apricot jam, though, was a little more special to me because, well… this is a little embarrassing to admit, but it’s the very first time in my life I’ve used a vanilla bean.
I don’t really know what else to say about that other than: it is what it is, and now I have used a vanilla bean, and I’m pretty sure my life will never be the same.
Apricots, sugar, lemon juice, and those little vanilla bean specks mingle together overnight to create nirvana. The tart-sweet apricot flavor shines through, though mellowed slightly by the vanilla. Plus, it’s cute. Little black vanilla beans suspended in bright orange… magic.
Here’s the recipe!
Vanilla Apricot Jam
Adapted from the apricot jam recipe from Food & Wine
Makes approx. 4 cups of jam
- 2 pounds apricots, cut in half (no need to peel!) and pits removed (weigh after the pits are removed)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- Stir the apricots, sugar, and lemon juice together over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves (just a minute or two).
- Remove from heat.
- Split the half vanilla bean down the middle, and scrape the cute little seeds out with the tip of a sharp knife.
- Mix the seeds in with the apricot mixture.
- Throw in the vanilla pod you just scraped out – it’ll add a little more flavor.
- Cover, and let sit out overnight (or for at least 4 hours), to allow the fruit to macerate and the flavors to get cozy with one another.
- Remove the vanilla pod.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat. Skim off any foam if it develops.
- Boil for about 20 – 25 minutes, until the jam thickens to the right consistency – when it drips off of a cold spoon in sheets, or, as Food & Wine says, “until the fruit is glassy and the liquid runs off the side of a spoon in thick, heavy drops.” That works too.
- Ladle into jars, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, or if you prefer to skip the processing, it should last in the fridge for up to a month.
More goodies like this:
- Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream 7:00 AM
- Sweet, Spicy, and Savory Pumpkin Seeds 10:31 AM
- Iced Coffee 3:09 PM
- Hawaii & Haupia (Coconut Pudding) 11:05 PM
- Fresh Bing Cherry Ice Cream 1:17 PM
- Foodbuzz 24×24: A Simply Washington Thanksgiving 10:31 PM
- Sweet Potato Pie 8:48 AM
- Goodbye to The Hazel Bloom. Hello, Kitchen Treaty! 7:59 AM
- Junk to Treasure: 70′s Clock Turned Cool New Wall Art 3:11 PM
- Honey Rhubarb Brown Betty 11:03 AM
- Almond Poppyseed Shortbread Cookies 10:43 AM
- Deep Dark Hot Fudge Pudding Cake 10:51 AM
- Glazed Greek Yogurt Lemon Poppyseed Muffins 12:01 PM
- Glazed Vanilla Bean Cookies 8:56 AM
- Anne: I've just made two and they are absolutely adorabl...
- Sam: Kare, good luck to you. Your blog was the first th...
- Kare: Hi Angela! You left this comment nearly a year ago...
- Mary Castor: Hi, Just made these...What did I do wrong??? The...
- Kristen: This is so beautiful! :) I'm wanting to do somet...
- Lisa: Hi! I am doing a roundup of my favorite holiday t...
- Chante Drape: Dark chocolates and milk chocolates are the best. ...