Watch Cooking Channel

Going Ape for Apricot Preserves

Apricot Jam

I’m absolutely crazy for stone fruit. From the moment the first cherries come in, I quiver in anticipation of what’s to follow: sweet-tart plums and pluots, gushingly juicy peaches. I most look forward to the apricots, seductive and demure.

I could eat a bushel of them right out of hand, but apricot jam is my favorite, bar none, so every year I hunker down and make a bunch. Apricots don’t need much; their flavor blooms as you cook them down, but they also take nicely to a little spice. A few peppercorns, some cardamom, perhaps half a stick of cinnamon all bundled into a cheesecloth sachet will leave a subtle undertone to your jam. But if you want to create something special, crack open a few of the apricot pits and toss the kernels into the sachet.

The noyaux (nwa-yo), as they are called, look like little almonds, and in fact leave a faint, haunting almond-like flavor in the jam. The reason for this is mildly alarming:

cyanide.

All stone fruit of the genus prunus, including apricots, peaches and cherries, produce some cyanide in their seeds and stems. Eaten in excess, apricot pits can absolutely be harmful, but Europeans have been using them as flavoring agents in everything from jams to baked goods for centuries. Just keep the pits in your sachet, which will be removed at the end.

Besides, it’s good to live dangerously once in a while.

Apricot Jam Recipe with Noyaux, Spices and Bourbon

7 cups apricots, coarsely chopped, pits reserved
5 cups sugar
1 lemon, cut in slices
5-7 black peppercorns
1-2 cardamom pods, cracked
2-3 cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon
1/4 cup bourbon

In a large, heavy, nonreactive pot, mix the fruit and sugar, and let stand to macerate at least 20 minutes, up to 24 hours.

With a nutcracker or a hammer, crack open several of the reserved pits and remove the kernel from within. On a square of cheesecloth (approximately 6″ square), place the noyaux and spices, and tie up the corners tightly to form a sachet.
Place the macerated fruit over medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemons and the sachet. Raise the heat to high, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

When the jam reads 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer, cook one minute longer, turn off the flame, add the bourbon, stir well to combine and let the jam stand for a few minutes. Remove the sachet and lemon slices.

Pour into sterilized jars and process via the standard water-bath canning method.

More from Sean and Punk Domestics:

Sean Timberlake is a professional writer, amateur foodie, avid traveler and all-around bon vivant. He is the founder of Punk Domestics, a content and community site for DIY food enthusiasts, and has penned the blog Hedonia since 2006. He lives in San Francisco with his husband, DPaul Brown, and their hyperactive terrier, Reese.

Tags:

Comments (3117)

  1. Carolinaheartstrings posted 08/09/2011

    This is my favorite kind of preserve hands down. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Nate posted 08/09/2011

    When the jam reads 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer, cook one minute longer, turn off the flame, add the bourbon,
    Where did the BOURBON come from ,and how much?

    • seantimberlake posted 08/10/2011

      Sorry for the omission — 1/4 c. bourbon will do the trick, but even a tablespoon will add good flavor.

  3. jamlover posted 08/09/2011

    I am making peach jam this weekend, love this! sounds delish!

  4. Kate L posted 08/09/2011

    Could I use something like this for blueberries and then freeze it?

  5. Jennifer posted 08/10/2011

    Wow, noyeax is creepy, but cool! Perhaps I will try adding it at my next apricot jamming session. I had found apricots at my local grocery much earlier in the summer, though. I guess that means they must have traveled from far, far away to get to me. Do you know their general season in the U.S.?

  6. Tess posted 08/12/2011

    Sounds amazing! How many pints/half pints does this make?

  7. Jennifer posted 08/16/2011

    Soooo yummy! I was able to make 7 1/2-pints with the recipe. I couldn't get the mash to 220 deg F (it stalled at 212), but it was think enough, and I didn't want to boil off all the liquid. I also macerated the apricots for about 9 hours – definitely worth it.

  8. [...] This jam is much the same as before, except with a new fruit combination and the pits. If you are uncomfortable with the kernels and their almond flavor, dont use them. I add the kernels in a cloth bag and steep them with the jam, I just take them out [...]

  9. [...] This jam is much the same as before, except with a new fruit combination and the pits. If you are uncomfortable with the kernels and their almond flavor, dont use them. I add the kernels in a cloth bag and steep them with the jam, I just take them out [...]

  10. zig zaga posted 10/25/2012

    Sites we like…

    the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the…

  11. ZigZag posted 10/28/2012

    Blogs you should be reading…

    please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web…

  12. calaguas tour posted 10/29/2012

    So cool…

    The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available…

  13. new york asian escorts posted 11/03/2012

    Online Article…

    Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose…

  14. paycheck cash advance posted 11/09/2012

    Excellent website…

    the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the…

  15. Dr. Montanaro posted 11/09/2012

    Online Article…

    Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed underneath are the latest sites that we choose…

  16. dietas posted 11/09/2012

    Websites you should visit…

    Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose…

  17. jfd98ayhcim posted 11/10/2012

    Websites we think you should visit…

    we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out…

  18. bodyweight burn posted 11/12/2012

    Online Article…

    Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed above are the latest sites that we choose…

  19. Blogs you should be reading…

    please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web…

  20. electronics posted 11/16/2012

    Blogs you should be reading…

    please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web…

  21. bgdfgdfgdfgdf posted 11/22/2012

    Title…

    [...]Here are some of the websites we advocate for our visitors[...]…

  22. grotlopt posted 11/22/2012

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  23. Studenten zorgverzekering posted 11/22/2012

    Cool sites…

    Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitor…

  24. letting agents glasgow posted 11/24/2012

    Great Content…

    we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out…

  25. Lenita Cerventez posted 11/25/2012

    The Slave of the Husband…

    Trying to find ahead to researching additional from you afterward!……

  26. Remote Control posted 11/25/2012

    Title…

    [...]the time to read or visit the material or websites we have linked to below the[...]…

  27. lecteur carte vitale posted 11/25/2012

    Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[...]…

  28. abc blinds posted 11/26/2012

    Title…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated data, nonetheless seriously worth taking a look, whoa did a single study about Mid East has got far more problerms at the same time [...]…

  29. Cucciolo Rottweiler posted 11/26/2012

    Title…

    [...]although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we really feel they may be truly worth a go by way of, so possess a look[...]…

  30. a total noob posted 11/26/2012

    Title…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I adore but do not get a good deal of link adore from[...]…

  31. Dumpster Rental posted 11/26/2012

    Title…

    [...]below you will obtain the link to some websites that we believe you’ll want to visit[...]…

  32. 123 mold testing posted 11/26/2012

    Title…

    [...]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I love but really don’t get a good deal of link love from[...]…

  33. Dumpster Rental posted 11/26/2012

    Title…

    [...]the time to study or take a look at the subject material or websites we have linked to below the[...]…

  34. buy active instagram followers posted 11/26/2012

    Title…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nonetheless seriously really worth taking a search, whoa did one particular learn about Mid East has got a lot more problerms too [...]…

  35. free annual credit report gov posted 11/27/2012

    Title…

    [...]we like to honor lots of other net web-sites on the web, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages worth checking out[...]…

  36. logo quiz answers posted 11/27/2012

    Title…

    [...]that may be the finish of this article. Right here you will come across some websites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]…

  37. babies r us baby registry posted 11/28/2012

    Title…

    [...]please stop by the sites we comply with, which includes this one, as it represents our picks in the web[...]…

  38. land of nod discount posted 11/28/2012

    Title…

    [...]Here is an excellent Weblog You may Come across Intriguing that we Encourage You[...]…

  39. click here posted 11/28/2012

    Title…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a look, whoa did a single find out about Mid East has got a lot more problerms as well [...]…

  40. bear grylls messer posted 11/28/2012

    Title…

    [...]please pay a visit to the internet sites we follow, including this 1, as it represents our picks in the web[...]…

  41. Learn More posted 11/28/2012

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  42. Organo Gold Scam posted 11/28/2012

    Title…

    [...]although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they may be in fact really worth a go by means of, so have a look[...]…

  43. #Party Animal posted 11/29/2012

    Title…

    [...]always a massive fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but really don’t get a good deal of link like from[...]…

  44. Title…

    [...]Here is a good Blog You may Discover Exciting that we Encourage You[...]…

  45. boardman Chiropractic posted 11/29/2012

    Title…

    [...]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I like but don’t get a good deal of link adore from[...]…

  46. video games posted 11/29/2012

    Title…

    [...]the time to read or check out the content or websites we’ve linked to beneath the[...]…

  47. Medical Practice Marketing posted 11/29/2012

    Title…

    [...]below you’ll come across the link to some websites that we believe you ought to visit[...]…

  48. Teichfolie posted 11/29/2012

    Teichfolie…

    i wouldn’t might have earlier since regarded that now available at your business over a copy on a web site a more when a life time so. Even my associate Gregor is excited and presently has tasted on greetings dear to Mxh twitter.all from the me and fr…

  49. Auto Forum posted 11/29/2012

    Thorn of Girl…

    Superb information and facts could be uncovered on this web website….

  50. female hair loss treatment posted 11/29/2012

    Title…

    [...]Here are several of the websites we recommend for our visitors[...]…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c