Apricot jam is a delightful and versatile fruit preserve made from fresh apricots, sugar, and sometimes additional flavorings or pectin. The naturally sweet and tangy flavor of the apricots combined with the rich, smooth consistency of the jam make it a popular choice for various culinary uses. Apricot jam has been enjoyed across various cultures for centuries and is known for its vibrant orange color and appealing texture.
Home cooks and consumers appreciate apricot jam for its wide range of applications such as a spread on toast, as a filling for pastries, or as a glaze for meats or poultry. Additionally, the jam can be an essential ingredient in fruit-based sauces, condiments or desserts, making it a staple in many kitchens.
When it comes to cooking with apricot jam, people often don't realise just how versatile this ingredient can be. One common mistake is to use it only for breakfast on toast or in pastries, but this is just scratching the surface of its potential. Apricot jam can also be used in sauces, glazes for meats, as a sweetener in tea, and even in savory recipes to add a touch of sweet-tangy taste. To get the most out of it, consider the flavour profile of your dishes and see if a spoonful of apricot jam would enhance it. One fabulous hack with apricot jam is to add a small quantity to vinaigrettes for a subtle sweet note.
Another area where people falter is choosing their apricot jam. Choose a high-quality apricot jam where the apricots are the first ingredient listed, not sugar. It will have a superior apricot flavor that will shine through in your dishes.
A little-known tip is that apricot jam can also be used to balance the heat in spicy dishes. Adding a spoonful to a spicy stir-fry, curry, or salsa can provide a sweet counterpoint to the heat.
Can I use apricot jam instead of sugar in recipes?
Can apricot jam be used for glazing meats?
What pastries work well with apricot jam?
How to use apricot jam in a savory dish?
Can I use apricot jam in a cocktail?
Is apricot jam a good addition to a cheese board?
How to use apricot jam in a BBQ sauce?
Can apricot jam be used as a filling for crepes?
Is apricot jam a good fit for vegan diets?
Can apricot jam be used in a fruit salad?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does apricot jam expire?
Unopened apricot jam typically has a shelf life of one to two years if stored in a cool, dry place such as a pantry. Always check the 'best by' date printed on the jar to get a gauge of its freshness. Once the jar is opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator and is generally good for up to one month. Be mindful that homemade jam may have shorter shelf life depending on the use of preservatives. As for freezing, yes, apricot jam can indeed be frozen. If you have a large amount of jam you know you will not consume within a month, you can store it in the freezer where it can last up to a year!
How do you tell if apricot jam is bad?
While a slightly darker color or minor separation in the jar can be normal after some time, there are a few definite signs you should discard your apricot jam. If there’s a visible presence of mold, a strange smell that deviates from its usual sweet, fruity aroma or if the jam has developed a strange texture or taste, then it's time to say goodbye to that jar. Bottom line, if something about the jam seems off or suspicious to you, it’s always a safer bet to discard it.
Tips for storing apricot jam to extend shelf life
• Always use a clean spoon when dipping into your jam to avoid introducing bacteria into the jar.
• Once opened, remember to tightly seal the jar before returning it to the refrigerator to prevent it from absorbing flavors of other foods.
• If planning to freeze, portion the jam into small, airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. Always leave some headroom in the containers, as jam expands when frozen.
• For defrosting, simply move the frozen jam into the refrigerator for a day or so before you need to use it.
• If you plan to keep jam outside after opening, say for a picnic, try not to leave it out for more than a couple of hours, especially in warm weather.