Monday, August 23, 2010

Vanilla Apricot Jam and Kernels

Apricot jam has always been one of my favorites, but until now I had never made my own.  Why?  I'm not totally sure.  Maybe just because I don't have apricots from my garden (yet- the tree is still a baby).  Maybe because I'm usually already overstocked on strawberry, grape and cherry jam?  

When we got in both organic apricots from Hoch Orchard and apricots from Barnard Farm in Michigan at the co-op, I just couldn't resist!  Plus, I've seen a couple of recipes on various blogs for pairing vanilla with apricots- And that just sounds too amazing to pass up.

I followed Linda Ziedrich's apricot jam recipe from The Joy of Jams and Jellies, but added 1 vanilla bean.

After halving the apricots, I remembered that you can eat apricot kernels... after processing them to remove the cyanide that hides out in there.  So first I had to crack the hard pit to release the kernels.  Not easy.  Those pits are HARD!  And once the pit finally cracks, the kernel shoots across the room.  I found it helpful to crack them while inside a baggie to keep them contained.

I also recommend not holding the nut cracker close to your body while doing this.  I accidentally pinched my belly between the ends and still have a bruise!

Then I followed Ziedrich's recommendation to simmer the kernels first.  Next I roasted them to make them crunchy.  I ended up with a lovely little dish of crunchy kernels!

But after all this, they were still VERY bitter!  Anyone have any recommendations?  Googling this results in lots of conflicting misinformation- none seems very credible.

The jam turned out perfect, though.  Very strong apricot-vanilla flavor with tons of little flecks of vanilla bean! I should have made twice as much!


Anonymous said...

I have been eying the local apricots at the Wedge...I think you just convinced me to pick some up!


The Kuntrageous Vegan said...

Because of you...I have purchased the Ball Complete Book of home preserving and I have HUGE plans for next year...right now I'm just working with what i've got :)

Anonymous said...

oh, wow. that sounds AMAZING! we rarely get apricots here, and when we do they are pricey :( but i'd love to try vanilla apricot jam! maybe someday.