~ A Provence Summer Preserve ~
French Set Apricot and Lavender Jam (Confiture)
Heady perfumed lavender fields, rolling hills of thyme and oregano, hot sun, dusty paths, aching backs and grape stained fingers, hawks sitting on hay bales, the distant throb of a tractor, diesel, warm hands and faces, rich pate, crusty bread, herb scented rillettes, metallic red wine and crisp rose wine, straw baskets, fields of happy sunflowers, gayly coloured fabric table cloths, wooden handled knives, old chipped glasses, straw, floppy cotton hats, red noses, sweet peaches, furry apricots, ripe golden melons, juicy red watermelons, black dusky olives, bitter green olives, salty anchovies, charred sardines, salted butter, crisp flaky pastries, white acidic goat’s cheese, hard mature sheep’s cheese, glossy tapenade, a tian of purple aubergines, stuffed courgettes, ripe, juicy tomatoes, pungent basil leaves, grass-green olive oil, cotton hammocks, old metal chairs, rickety wooden tables, faded oil cloth, red hot sun, wild shrub, tired looking sheep and frisky goats, gnarled olive trees, dusky pink tamarisk, pastis, the clink of boule on boule, fish soup and rouille, bouillabaisse, a tired church clock chimes lazily, couronne bread and apricot jam……………..
I bought a crate of apricots the other day, in the local covered market, €5 for 6 kilos…….their fuzzy loveliness shone out from the box and although we love fresh apricots, I put 5 kilos to one side for jam making, as well as poached fruit and tarts…..and other delectable culinary things. MY lavender in France is in full bloom now and I love using it in baking and cooking, as well as preserves……this idea of popping a spring of lavender on top of freshly made apricot lavender hails from the South of France……it adds a subtle flavour whilst discouraging mould……and a pot of this jam, (or should I say confiture) on your table at breakfast or tea time will bring a sunny smile to all, especially in the midst of winter.
This is an easy jam to make, and it what I call a French set….not that hard stiff jelly that is often beloved in the British kitchen, but an unctuous soft fruity set, where the apricots almost bust out of the jar……the colour is glorious and it’s like a spoon of sunshine…..try this jam dolloped on fresh yoghurt, or spread on croissants, brioche or fresh toast…..how about making little jam tarts with this, or another idea is spread this in or on a freshly made sponge cake…..
As the sun is still shining, I must make hay whilst the sun shines – read harvest herbs and weed the garden, so, I will leave you with my pots of golden apricot goodness for now…..I have shared the recipe below and DO let me know if you make this and are brave enough to add the lavender……see you later with more delectable treats, a new giveaway and more culinary notes from my kitchen……Karen
French Set Apricot and Lavender Jam (Confiture)
|Serves||Makes 1.8 to 2 kilos jam (31/2 to 41/2 lbs)|
|Prep time||24 hours|
|Cook time||20 minutes|
|Total time||24 hours, 20 minutes|
|Dietary||Gluten Free, Vegetarian|
|Meal type||Breakfast, Condiment, Side Dish, Snack|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold|
|Occasion||Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Thanksgiving, Valentines day|
- 1200g fresh apricots (stoned and cut in half)
- 1 kilo white sugar
- juice of 1 large emon
- sprigs of lavender (flower heads, free of insecticide)
A wonderful French set jam that is soft and full of fruit......the lavender adds a subtle flavour to the finished jam and also discourages mould. Serve this soft set confiture with toast, croissants or fresh crusty bread - it is also wonderful when used to sandwich cakes and in jam tarts.
|Step 1||Layer the apricots and sugar in a large preserving pan, add the juice of the lemon and leave over night.|
|Step 2||When you are ready to make the jam, place two or three saucers into the freezer beforehand - to check the set.|
|Step 3||Place the pan over a low to medium heat, and allow the sugar to dissolve slowly....as soon as the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and bring the jam to a rolling boil and allow to boil for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring it every now and then, until a set has been achieved.|
|Step 4||After about 5 minutes, check for a set, take one of the cold saucers out of the freezer, take the jam off the heat and place a teaspoon of jam on the saucer, allow it to cool for a few seconds, then push it with your finger: if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set. If it hasn't set, boil it again for another 5 minutes and do another test.|
|Step 5||When you have a set, remove the preserve from the heat and allow it to settle for 5 minutes before pouring it into the warmed sterilised jars. Place a sprig of fresh lavender on top of the jam and seal while still warm and label the jars when cold.|
What amazing colors, I love this!
Thanks Michelle – nature’s colours are JUST amazing aren’t they! Karen
Thank you for this recipe, Karen, and for your beautiful inspirational photographs. I read your tip about the lavender on the Garlic and Sapphire blog and thought it was wonderful. If only apricots were so cheap to buy here in London, I would have my preserving pan out this very afternoon! Perhaps I could just make half …
Thanks Caro – my tip is to sit it out and wait until the end of the season, or the end of the day at a market and then swoop in for the kill and buy a box cheap! Half the amounts would be good too, I have made ONE pot of jam before! Karen
Charlotte @gofreecakes says
Oh Karen, this just looks gorgeous. I always think of apricots as such a French ingredient, and to me, you have captured la belle France in a jar. I must try and make some of this.
Another wonderful idea!
Merci Charlotte! I first saw this done way down in the deep South of France and I always try to make a batch of lavender apricot jam and normal apricot jam every season. 🙂 Karen
Mmmmmm, I do like apricot jam and especially if it it is homemade. I love the addition of a sprig of lavender on top. Pretty and practical 🙂
Thanks Jac – the lavender and very subtle too, so just a nice flavour when you take a spoon off the top of the jam. 🙂
Jude A Trifle Rushed says
Wonderful, and snap I made my batch last week too, though only five jars with lavender as my husband and sons don’t like it. I however adore the combination of apricot and lavender, and particularly love it with my sheep or goat yoghurt for breakfast, fabulous.
Your photographs are just delightful, they really sum up the complete apricotness of apricot jam.
Yes, Malcolm is NOT keen on lavender either, but, I take it off the top and serve it and he has never said anything! LOL! Thanks Jude….HOPE to see you soon too! 🙂 Karen
Gorgeous photos. I love apricot jam, but I’ve never tried adding lavender sprigs. Apricots are now on next week’s shopping list!
Thanks Sarah – DO let me know if you make any! I LOVE apricot jam as the colours are always so gorgeous!
A late comment, just to say I made your jam yesterday and had some for breakfast this morning! It’s perfect – the set is just right, and as you said it’s like a spoon of sunshine. Due to family pressure, I was only allowed to add lavender to one jar, so I’m saving that for a special occasion. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks so much for popping back to tell me Sarah, I am so pleased that you liked the results and the set! Let me know when the lavender jar has been liberated!
Phil in the Kitchen says
Beautiful sunshine colours. I’d love it with crusty bread, but I do know someone who would prefer it with cheese – especially a sheep’s milk cheese.
Thanks Phil….I have to admit to loving this jam on crusty bread, more than on sweet buns and pastries……and yes, I agree that this would be wonderful with a nice Brebis cheese.
Kirsten Lauridsen says
wonderful colour combination – I will try to make some of this jam as well, as I a similar attraction to using lavender in baking and mixing with Earl Grey, which the rest of my friends not are fully approving of.
Many summer greeting from Denmark – Kirsten
Thanks Kirsten – I was thinking of you the other day and how light summer must be, long days and lots of wild berries! I also LOVE Earl Grey on baking too…..
Jenny @ BAKE says
gorgeous colour and flavour combination!
Thanks Jenny! 🙂
Glorious pictures! This jam looks wonderful, Ive just come back from France and desperately wanted to buy a crate of apricots while there but the heat in the car would have ruined them. Love the idea of the lavender, I saw lots of lavender fields on holiday. Great post Karen!
Maya Russell says
Not sure I’m so keen in Lavender (has to be really subtle). Tweeted the post as @maisietoo – https://twitter.com/maisietoo/status/325165150195810304
Patsy Scotland says
Living in France I too buy apricots when they are at their best and amazingly cheap and have been making this conserve for some time, but love the idea of the lavender – too late for this year but next will try. By the way have found a great jam sugar here where you only need 500 g of sugar to 1 k of fruit (still too much for the 5:2 but much better!!).
Thanks Patsy! I do the same thing too, buy in bulk at the end of the day at a local market, when they want to shift the stuff! I just omit jam from my diet on fast days and then allow myself a treat now and then on feast days, a teaspoon or two! Karen
Thank you Karen,for the lovely jam recipe !We had some blackberry’s at home and the jam is perfect.I can’t wait to try with apricot ,looks so delicious .Greeting’s from BG.
THANKS so much for letting me know Silvia! Karen
I just came across this recipe on Pinterest and can’t wait to try. I am so new to jams and canning, please bear with me. Do you need to peel the apricots? Thank you!
Karen Burns-Booth says
Hi Sarah! NO need to peel the apricots, so an easy beginners recipe! Let me know how you get on! Karen
I’d love to try this. I am new to canning so I’ve a couple of questions. Do the jars “seal” for preserving purposes? And, how long will it keep, provided I don’t gobble it up quickly?
Karen Burns-Booth says
The jars to seal if you follow the method carefully and they will last at least for up to 1 year.
E. Frei says
Oh my goodness, I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart, not only for the amazing tip of using lavender to keep mold away, but for the absolutely beautiful story that made me feel homesick for a place I’ve never even been. Not only are you an incredible chef and food-wizard, but a poet and writer as well! Thank you, thank you, thank you. You’ve filled my heart with inspiration!
Karen Burns-Booth says
Thank YOU for your lovely comments, you have made my day! 🙂