With this homemade apricot jam you can enjoy sunshine in a jar – all year round!
I can honestly say this is the best jam I’ve ever had.
You can’t beat homemade apricot jam
Homemade apricot jam is nothing like what you buy in the shops. It couldn’t be any more different. In England I know apricot jam as a transparent orange super sweet preserve – that tastes nothing like real apricots! It is often used for glazing and sticking things together in baking recipes. On the other hand, Austrian apricot jam is a taste of heaven.
Marillenmarmelade is so good, it’s almost addictive. Once you try this, you’ll never be content with just any old jam… We introduced my English family to its delicious taste and they fell in love with it. My niece found it so precious that she even hid a jar of it by her bed! No wonder apricots are known as the Gold of the Wachau in Austria.
Which apricots are best for making jam?
The riper the fruit the better the jam. Jam is perfect for using up imperfect, bruised and squishy fruits. As long as it’s not started to mould you are good to use it. All the apricots we used for this years batch of jam were rescued from the ground. Less waste, more taste!
In Austria, we call an apricot Marille as opposed to the standard German Aprikose. Paul’s home region, the Danube valley called Wachau (also a famous wine producing area), is a special place for growing the best kind of apricot in the world, the Wachauer Marille. These apricots have earned protected designation of origin and are beloved for their sweetness, juiciness and unrivalled flavour. The unique microclimate of the valley is what contributes to their delectable taste and texture. Austrians are so proud of their apricot jam that they went to great lengths in a debate with the EU to keep calling apricot jam Marillenmarmelade instead of Aprikosenkonfitüre… Oh, Austria…
You can use any variety of apricots to make this jam – but if you can get hold of Wachauer Marille, then even better! Visit the Wachau in July like we always do and you can make enough jam to last you the whole year. Just like us you can enjoy its sweet, sunshiney deliciousness everyday – wahoo!
If you can afford it buy organic apricots. In Austria these will be called “Bio” or you can ask the seller if they are not sprayed -“nicht gespritzt“
You can freeze apricots and use them to make jam all year round. Cut in half and destone them before freezing on a tray. You can also use frozen apricots to make our amazing vegan apricot cake.
What kind of sugar is best for making this apricot jam?
As apricots are not so naturally high in pectin, it is helpful to use a sugar with added pectin to make it easier and quicker to set. Traditionally jam has a one to one sugar to fruit ratio. So for 1 kilogram of fruit you would use 1 kilogram of sugar. But here we use 1.5kg of fruit to only 500g of sugar, which gives you a delicious low sugar apricot jam.
In Austria and Germany they sell Gelierzucker, which is a special kind of sugar designed for making jam. In the UK this kind of sugar is called Jam Sugar and in the US it is called Gelling Sugar. It contains pectin to help the jam to set, and citric acid which helps to preserve the jam.
It also comes in different ratios so you can use less sugar to fruit than standard jam recipes which use 1:1 fruit to sugar. We use the 3:1 Gelierzucker which maximises the fruitiness! And gives you a low sugar jam that you can enjoy more. If you can’t get hold of 3:1 gelierzucker, you have several options…
- Simply make the jam with a 3:1 ratio using ordinary jam sugar. It might take longer to reach setting point and the shelf life won’t be as long. But you will still have a delicious low sugar apricot jam.
- Keep the 3:1 ratio, use standard sugar and experiment with adding pectin sachets and a bit of citric acid (we will try this and report back on our findings)
- Or increase the ratio of sugar to a 1:1 fruit ratio
How to enjoy your homemade apricot jam
Homemade apricot jam is amazing on rye bread. We recommend you try it on our super seedy sourdough. We like to have it on toast for breakfast or as a quick snack.
In Austria apricot jam is typically enjoyed on Palatschinken. These are a type of flat pancake, similar to crepe. You can make an easy vegan version by making a simple batter. Use a cup of flour and add approximately 1 cup soy milk until you have a smooth cream thickness batter. Heat up oil in a large frying pan, pour in some batter, and then cook the pancake until golden on each side. Fill with apricot jam, roll up the pancake and then top with icing sugar.
Apricot jam is also the star of the show in another Austrian classic – Faschingskrapfen. These fluffy doughnuts are filled with a core of marillenmarmelade. They are incredibly delicious. Our Apricot Jam Doughnut recipe has all the tips and tricks you need to make them at home.
Apricot jam makes a really good glaze for fruit tarts and pastries to keep them moist and add another layer of flavour and shine. We use our homemade apricot jam to glaze our Vegan Apple Tart. Simply heat the jam and thin with a little water if needed and brush over the top of the tart.
- 1.5 kg apricots with stones removed
- 500 g sugar 3:1 Gelierzucker*
First sterilise your jars and jam funnel using one of the methods in the notes below
- To be on the safe side, prepare a few more jars than you think you might need.
Cooking the Jam
- Add de-stoned apricot halves or quarters into a large saucepan together with the sugar.
- Heat up on the stove on high heat and stir frequently. The sugar begins to melt and the apricots will soften up and partly dissolve into a thick sauce.
- When the apricots are all softened up, take the pan off the heat for blending. Use a stick blender to puree the fruit. Blend until completely smooth, or leave some bits for a more chunky apricot jam.
- Put back on the heat and boil rapidly for at least another two minutes. Don't forget to stir!
- Gelling test: If you put a teaspoon of jam on a (cold) plate, it should set after about two minutes. Turn the plate on it's side. If the jam does not run off, or only very very slowly, it is ready. If the jam is still quite runny, continue to boil down.
- Fill the jam into your sterilised jars. If possible, use a jam funnel to avoid bits of jam around the rim of the jars.
- Don't forget to enjoy the bits of delicious jam left behind in the sauce pan :-) YUMMY!