Evreux, June 3, 2017 – Miche lived to be 101 years old.  Right up until she left us she was talking about her amazing two-ingredient apricot jam, among other things, and the tricks she used to make it. She also wanted to point out the bird on the steeple outside her window and remind a visitor to wait until four o’clock to hear its song,  and she always wanted to know just exactly how the air felt outside.   I think of her so often but particularly now, as I anticipate making enough jam to enjoy for the coming year.    I’m re-running this blog post to remind all of you who have apricots on your trees or in your markets to make this; it’s the best ever.

summer apricots in their crate

Apricots from the Rhône Alps

There is nothing more delicious then homemade apricot jam.

apricot jam in crystal dish

Apricot jam, ready to eat

Toast and jam

Breakfast – toast, lightly salted butter, apricot jam

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 eighties, 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.

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Miche's French Apricot Jam
Miche's French Apricot Jam
Servings
Cups (1-1/2 liters)
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds apricots pitted and quartered, 1-1/2 kg
  • 3 cups granulated sugar 600g
Servings
Cups (1-1/2 liters)
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds apricots pitted and quartered, 1-1/2 kg
  • 3 cups granulated sugar 600g
Miche's French Apricot Jam
Instructions
  1. Place the apricots and the sugar in a non-reactive pan or bowl, stir, cover and let macerate for at least 12 hours.
  2. Transfer the fruit and sugar to a large, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    Transfer the fruit and sugar to a large, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat so the mixture is boiling merrily and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface.
    Reduce the heat so the mixture is boiling merrily and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface.
  4. 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.
    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.
Recipe Notes

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!

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12 Responses to Miche’s Two Ingredient French Apricot Jam – ’tis the Season

  1. Susie says:

    I just made Apricot Jam about three weeks ago with apricots from Williams, California that I bought on the way from Arizona to Oregon. Borrowing from Patricia Wells’ class in Provence many years ago, I roasted the pits, cracked them open and removed the soft kernels in the middle, roasted them and added three kernels to each jar of jam to deepen the flavor. So, so delicious this year. Apricot varietal was Modesto.

    • Susan says:

      Susie – I know Patricia’s jam must be fabulous; Miche (and I) love the pure flavor of the apricots, so sweet and just slightly tangy. That said – and here’s a littel secret – I also put the pits in half the jars, because I like the almond-like flavor they give. Sometimes I crack them with a hammer, sometimes I put them in whole. Both ways, they give flavor. Yum!

  2. Ross says:

    I do see or can find the recipe

  3. Love, love, love apricot jam and your apricot jam is so gorgeous.

  4. Ann-maree says:

    Another hemisphere so I have to wait a season or two but this is the year I get over my “I’d never make it as good as my
    Mother” jam phobia and try this recipe !

    • Susan says:

      Ann-Maree- you CAN make it as good as your mother did! I’m the same way about raspberry jam, by the way!

  5. miriam summ says:

    The best apricot jam ever! First time and as I am new at this, I’d like to know if it’s possible to make a large quantity, perhaps the equivalent of 12 jars. I would freeze the jam in plastic containers until Christmas time, then unfreeze and transfer into glass jars. This jam would be a wonderful Christmas gift for friends. Is this possible?

    And, can other fruits such as peaches, pineapple and mango be made according to this French recipe? I would love to try some other fruits. Thank you for help and advice.

    • Susan says:

      Miriam – one of the secrets of this jam’s goodness is the small batch, because it doesn’t need to cook very long. I would say to make three small batches – it’s very little work. I’ve never frozen it. I imagine it would be fine, but because the fruit isn’t “confit” the way it is in most jams, that is very, very sweet and sugary, it may get watery after thawing. I’m really not sure. Try freezing a little and thawing it out, to see. OTherwise, just jar it all now? That might be the best solution. Good luck, and let me know what you end up doing.

  6. Dawn Murrietta says:

    My old old apricot tree gave up the ghost last year. I replanted one but will have to wait a few years to harvest. Luckily I live just a few hours north of Williams CA. Will have to take a trip and get some apricots! Thank you for giving us permission to have “runny jam”, so good on pancakes too:)

    • Susan says:

      Dawn, I just made the second batch and it’s going fast. Yes, runny jam is “de rigeur” at least when homemade;the flavor is amazing.

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