Honey-Sweetened Apricot Jam

Honey Sweetened Apricot Jam | Hitchhiking to Heaven

The other day I spent hours working on an apricot thing that turned out terribly. It happens to everyone with a recipe blog: You get what you think is a great idea — in this case it was sugar-free vanilla apricot butter made in a slow cooker — and you launch into your preparations with tremendous enthusiasm, all the while writing the blog post in your head, describing how it felt to make it and how great it turned out. Then you get to the finished product and you’re like, wow, this really sucks.

A number of things went wrong with my slow-cooker butter; mostly it just cooked too long. The fruit darkened and caramelized in a an ugly, bitter way. I tried to rescue it at the end with some honey, but it was way too late. It was a sad end to five pounds of beautiful Blenheim apricots, for sure. And I felt pretty silly about the time I’d wasted describing it to you in my head.

Chopped Apricots | Hitchhiking to Heaven

No, I didn’t cook them in this tiny pot. They’re just hanging out there after weighing.

That same day, however, my friend Gina had brought me two big boxes of apricots from a backyard tree. I don’t know what kind they were. The good kind. But they were starting to collapse on themselves, so I got right to breaking them down, cutting away bruised parts and setting aside clean halves to make another batch of Marisa’s Honeyed Apricots. (I have a case of those now, which I’ll use during the coming year to make jams like this Honey-Sweetened Apricot Blueberry Jam.)

Because I ran out of regular pint jars in the middle of all that, I had some fruit and honey syrup left over. So, after taking all day to make something godawful, I dropped those leftovers in a pot and made something perfect in twenty minutes. This is crazy easy to prepare and it’s one of those things worth eating straight from the jar.

Apricot Jam with Honey Sugar Free

Honey-Sweetened Apricot Jam

Makes about two cups

1 1/4 pounds pitted, quartered apricots (weight after pitting)
1/2 cup filtered water
1/4 cup wildflower honey
1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Combine the water and honey in a medium saucepot and bring to a simmer to make syrup. Add the apricots and lemon juice and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking or scorching. (Turn down the heat if necessary.) The jam is ready when it starts to mound up and your spoon leaves a clear track across the bottom of the pot. As mentioned, mine took about 20 minutes. It’s a tiny batch, so just jar it and store it in the fridge. Without sugar, it probably won’t last for more than a couple of weeks, but I don’t know for sure because mine was eaten up within a few days.

First Blush | Hitchhiking to Heaven

Here’s the first apricot picked from my own tree. It took three years! She says, “So what? Aren’t I worth it?”

Yes, indeed.

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  • Reply Dawn July 4, 2013 at 4:35 am

    The first paragraph made me grin from ear to ear as I really can’t count the number of times I’ve done exactly the same thing. Extreme lengths have been taken to “salvage” recipes gone wrong, but sometimes the compost bin or the trash can is the only reasonable option.

    As for your three-years-in-the-making apricot, well, we’ve already discussed by 17-year lemons! :)

    • Reply Shae July 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      I forgot about the 17-year lemons! I’m working on some four year limes. :-)

  • Reply Michelle July 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Those looks incredible! Do you know if it could be canned/preserved?

    • Reply Shae July 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! It could be canned — consider that it’s really just the honeyed apricot halves (meant for canning) deconstructed. That said, I’d probably swap out the lemon juice for some ascorbic acid to help hold the color and I wouldn’t plan to keep it on the shelf very long. (It’s safe enough; it’ll just start to turn brown without sugar.) In fact, I plan to make a larger batch to can and send ahead to Alaska so I’ll have a treat while we’re there next month — but I wouldn’t want to keep it much longer than that.

  • Reply Links: Apricots, Sour Cherries, and Homemade Ketchup | Food in Jars July 7, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    […] just picked up a half-bushel of apricot seconds this morning, and so think that Shae’s honey-sweetened apricot jam is very much in the cards for […]

  • Reply kelly @ kellybakes July 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve had SUCH a great idea, only to have it fail miserably. Or fail just enough to be inedible and unpresentable. Still, some of the best failures have led to great ideas. Like the time I tried to make a raspberry dobos torte from Smitten Kitchen and failed, but fell in love with honeyed mascarpone. Apricot jam is one of my favorites. As soon as they’re ready for picking near me, I may need to try this!

  • Reply Tracy July 15, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done the same thing; writing a blog post in my head and then having something go wrong or in a different direction! I’ve just procured a bunch of apricots though, and I’m itching to try them with honey. Your jam looks delightful!

  • Reply Cyn July 18, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Nice to have a neighbor with backyard apricots, especially the “good” kind. And congratulations on your own little 3-year gem!

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