This sweet, tangy, and bright apricot strawberry jam is the perfect marriage of early season stonefruit and juicy berries. Try it stirred into yogurt or as a glaze for roast chicken.
Several weeks ago, before the local season for either apricots or strawberries started, I found myself wandering through Reading Terminal Market. I was there to pick up a few things for a recipe development gig, and had no intention of buying out-of-season fruit that had traveled great distances.
I was walking with purpose towards the herbs, when the sight of a pile of tiny, brightly hued apricots stopped me mid-step and I was suddenly powerless to resist them. Before I knew what I was doing, I had a plastic bag in my hand and I was filling it with perfect fruit. With the bag nestled into my basket, I went a few more steps before I was again stopped by a display of incredibly fragrant strawberries. They joined the apricots. This is the not the first time I’ve fallen sway to fruit.
Once home, I snacked on the fruit a bit (both to get a sense of their state of sweet and tart, and because it all smelled so good) and then weighed out what remained. I worked up a recipe ratio in my head and got to the work of pitted, hulling, and chopping.
In the end, I used 2 1/2 pounds of apricots and 1 1/2 pounds of strawberries. Using a ratio of four parts fruit to one part sugar, I measured out 2 cups of sugar, which is approximately 1 pound. I settled the fruit into my Kilner jam pan, added most of the sugar, gave it a good stir, and then let it sit for several hours, so that the sugar could dissolve and help draw the juice from the fruit. Later, I added some lemon juice to help balance the flavors, and used Pomona’s Pectin to get it to set up.
Once cooked, I had exactly five half pints of really delicious jam, that starts with the flavor of apricots and finishes with the strawberry. I typically keep a box of recently made jams and preserves next to my front door, so that I can easily grab things to share with friends and neighbors. However, this is one that I’ve actively kept out of the box, because I want to keep it all for myself. It’s just that good.
Low Sugar Apricot Strawberry Jam
- 2 1/2 pounds apricots pitted and chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds strawberries hulled and chopped
- 2 cups sugar divided
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tablespoon calcium water
- 1 tablespoon Pomona's Pectin powder
- Combine the chopped apricots and strawberries in a large, wide non-reactive pan. Add 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and stir to combine. Let the fruit sit and get juicy for at least an hour.
- When you're ready to cook, prepare a canning pot and 5 half pints.
- Add the lemon juice and calcium water to the pot. Stir vigorously to combine.
- Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook until the apricot slices come apart, the berries break down, and the liquid thickens.
- Whisk the pectin powder into the reserved sugar. Add the pectin-spiked sugar to the cooking fruit in two or three batches, stirring to integrate between each addition.
- Cook for an additional minute or two, until you see visible signs of thickening.
- Remove the jam from the heat and funnel it into prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.