Slowly but surely, the stonefruit is beginning to appear. Nothing truly local yet, it’s getting ever closer. My little local greengrocer had South Carolina peaches last week, and the week before that, they had a small box of black velvet apricots from California. I call that considerable geographic progress!
I skipped the peaches (I’m holding out for the good stuff from the farmers I know), but succumbed to a single pound of the black velvet apricots. Have you ever tried these tender little guys? They’re a fifty-fifty cross between a purple plum and an apricot and so have a tender, sweet interior and a wine-colored, downy outside.
Because I absolutely cannot resist, I made a tiny batch jam with my eight little black velvets. I pitted them, chopped them, and combined them with four ounces of honey. Like I’ve mentioned in the past, I like to measure my honey by weight so that I don’t lose a single drop to the measuring cup.
I used a ratio of four parts fruit to one part honey for this jam because I wanted to end up with a product that allowed the fruit flavor to shine. Because it was such a small batch, I knew that I’d be able to get it to set with a minimal amount of sweetener and so could get away with the relatively tiny amount of honey (this ratio will not work if you increase the batch size).
Simmered up in my trusty 12-inch stainless steel skillet, this jam took just eight minutes to fully cook (though cooking times will always vary). Because there was so much surface area in the pan and so little depth, the water from the fruit was able to cook out efficiently and cook to a high enough temperature to achieve set. This is the secret of these tiny, low sugar, no additional pectin small batches.
Made from just fruit and honey, my yield was a scant cup of jam. While I often can my small batches so that they’re shelf stable, I couldn’t muster the will to heat up even the tiniest canner in my arsenal for a single half pint of jam. So instead, it went into the fridge and I’ve been dolloping it on any vehicle that will hold still. I love how tart it is and am planning to make a similar batch when the true apricots come into season later in the month.
Small Batch Black Velvet Apricot Jam Recipe
- 1 pound black velvet apricots
- 4 ounces honey
- Pit and chop apricots.
- Place in a measuring cup and add honey.
- Stir the apricots and honey together and let them sit until the honey has dissolved into the fruit.
- When you're ready to make the jam, scrape the fruit and honey mixture into a large, low skillet.
- Bring to a boil and stir near constantly until the jam thickens.
- You'll know it's done when you can pull your spatula through the cooking jam and the jam doesn't immediately rush in to fill the space.
- Scrape the finished jam into a small, heatproof jar. Once cool, refrigerate and use within 3-4 weeks.
I’m so jealous! I was trying to hunt those down last summer and could no find them anywhere. Hoping for better luck this year. :-/
Those have to be some of the prettiest apricots ever. 🙂
My son and I are in love with these apricots! So happy to think of them bubbling away in both our kitchens, as we both track the migrating herds of stone fruit ever closer to our doors….
I’m really excited that peaches are almost in season here – I’m very anxious to try making some peach barbecue sauce.
I look forward to strawberry jam, for sure. I make lots of chutneys and vanilla bean this and fancy stuff that, but my favorite it always strawberry jam. It’s almost always the mark of a new canning season. And my 2013 strawberry jam is made and labeled and all. I added lime juice and zest this year and it’s really fab. My cucumber plants look great, so I’m crossing fingers and toes for a great pickle crop!
I make a lot of different jams and marmalades throughout the year… when the particular fruit is in season (gotta love living in sunny So Cal for the citrus and avocado gifts friends bestow upon us). This year though, I am looking forward to pickling up a storm! Our garden got a little later start than planned, so I probably won’t start the pickle process until late June. But there will definitely be bread & butter pickles made from heirloom lemon cucumbers, dill pickles, hot pickled okra, dilly beans, zucchini pickles… and whatever other pickling concoction strikes my fancy at the time…
Thank you for this recipe, and for introducing me to black velvet apricots! Apricots are my favorite of the stone fruit, and might be me favorite jam of all the jams I make. I wonder if anyone in the Hudson Valley grows these, I can’t wait to try them! Not to mention I’ve been looking for more honey-only sweetened preserves.
I love the road trip to Palisade, CO to get peaches! And eating them on the way back home.
Those are beautiful! I’ve never seen such a thing. I’ll be on the lookout to see if I can find them here!
Strawberries are done here, but cherries & blueberries are starting to come in. I’m so excited just thinking about the upcoming weeks!
No fruit here yet, but soon I hope. I was wondering if one did want to can this, would it be ok and for how long? I like the idea of a bunch of little jars of different jam, as we don’t eat a lot soon enough when I open a larger jar, so the tiny batch idea is intriguing. Plus, I love that it is honey sweetened. Thanks!
I’m from the Central Valley in California (the hybrid was created here) and we call these guys pluots, which is much less sexy than Black Velvet Apricots! Luckily for us, though, they’ve already hit the market in full-force and are less than $1.50/lb at the Farmers’ Market. Yummy!
Here in Los Angeles, many call them Red Velvet Apricots and they are like pure heaven. I canned some last week, and the color is amazing! Royale Pluots are also in season here and they too have a bright flavor and beautiful color. I just love this time of year!
I happened upon your website and this beautiful jam recipe this evening when searching for a quick apricot jam recipe. I had impulsively purchased a dozen regular yellow apricots at the farmer’s market that I later discovered didn’t taste as lovely as expected. I’m delighted that this late in my day I found a recipe so simply beautiful and wholesome that I was inspired to make it before bedtime 🙂 Your recipe turned out well even with the yellow apricots. I used about 10, plus half a cup of regular honey – and now I’m in danger of eating the whole batch myself!
Thank you again for an simple yet totally. LOVELY. jam.
This is exactly what kind of recipe I was looking for. No white sugar, but made with honey. Thanks. All the recopies for apricot jam that I have been looking at don’t mention removing the skin. Do you leave the skin on?
No need to peel apricots. The skin cooks down nicely and adds both texture and color.
I tasted these for the 1st time just two days ago and have been scouring for recipes for them! I would really like to make this is a larger batch to get a few jars at least – can this recipe be doubled??
This is such a small batch that it can be doubled without issue. You might need to use a slightly larger pan, though.
Hi Marisa, I love ALL the recipe’s on your website and in your first book… trying to work my way thru them. Italian Plum w/Star Anise, YUM, Tomato Jam, DOUBLE YUM YUM. Trying my hand at this one because I happened to run into some delicious red velvet apricots. So, I see from an earlier post this recipe can be doubled. Can it after same also be canned for longer term storage?
I saw an earlier post about doubling the recipe for this. I bought a few of these black velvets to try — omg my family loves them! I think this jam would be an amazing little addition to our pantry. Since the single patch yields a scant pint, doubling wouldn’t make more than 2 pints. Wondering if you think tripling this recipe would be too much? Do you think the jam would set up?
Thank you for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it! I think I will be making a large batch though (a local produce distributor is selling flats of pluots for $6!) How would you go about making a large batch? Use pectin?
Liz, I don’t know how you’d go about doing a larger batch because I’ve not done it that way. I have a basic recipe for apricot jam in my first book that might serve a good guide for this.
What a lovely name! We call those taste-y little gems pluots in my neck of the woods – central WA state, in the beautiful pacific NW. 🙂
Your site is proving to be a real joy and I am looking forward to testing out several recipes. Thank you for sharing!
Hi, how much jam does this make? Thanks
The entirety of the yield is as pictured. It made just a little over a half pint.