La Confiture d’Abricot de Miche
I thought I already had the best recipe for apricot jam until I tasted Miche’s. Miche is Edith’s aunt and she lives about five minutes away from us in Louviers. In her eighty’s, she is the voluntary grandmother to all of Edith’s children and nieces and nephews—which numbered 28 at last count—and in summer she buys kilos of apricots to make this jam for them. She brought us a jar one cold February day and it tasted like summer in a jar, so intensely apricot-y that we all swooned. I immediately renounced my old recipe in favor of this one.
Miche is categoric—she makes the jam in small batches, uses as little sugar as possible, and cooks fruit for as short a time as she can get away with. She also refuses to put apricot pits in her jam—a typical French custom—for in her mind, anything that interferes with the pure, fresh apricot flavor is blasphemy. She’s right, her apricot jam is out of this world.
Note: this jam doesn’t cook much, so it can be very “loose,” or liquid-y. But that is French jam for you. If you cook it longer to thicken it up, you’ll lose some of the very fresh flavor. So, accept the looseness and “die for” the flavor!
3 pounds (1-1/2 kg) apricots, pitted and quartered
3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
- Place the apricots and the sugar in a non-reactive pan or bowl, stir, cover and let macerate for at least 12 hours.
- Transfer the fruit and sugar to a large, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the mixture is boiling merrily and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and ladle the jam into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headroom. Seal according to the jar manufacturer’s instructions.
Yields about 10 cups (2-½ liters)