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.
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!