Monday, August 1, 2011

Apricot Jam with Saffron and Rose











You know how some people hide money in their mattresses, I'm pretty sure my Dad does that with saffron. There is a running joke in my family that he has a secret bounty worth millions stashed away. He won't tell anyone where it is or how much he has, but whenever we are running low he always seems to have more. I know it is a big time luxury to have a seemingly endless supply of the world's most expensive spice so I try to only use my stash on special occasions and this jam is totally worth it. I usually gravitate towards simple jams, just fruit, sugar, lemon juice and maybe a bit of Pomona's if I am making jelly, but I am trying to step up my jamming this season so I pulled out the big guns. Saffron and rose are a common paring in Middle Eastern desserts so to honor my Pops and his generous, spicy spirit I put them together with some rosy cheeked apricots and made some fancy jam.

Apricot Jam with Saffron and Rose
Inspired by The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook
yield, roughly 2 pints jam

2lbs apricots (weight after removing the pits)
14oz sugar ( I used vanilla sugar, but it's not necessary)
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of saffron threads
1/4t-1t rose water, depending on your taste

1. Dump the pitted apricots and sugar into your canning pot and mash with a potato masher or fork, or your clean hands if you feel like it. Don't worry about making the pieces uniform in size, just mash them well.

2. In a small mortar and pestle combine the saffron threads with a pinch of sugar and grind. The abrasive quality of the sugar will help to break up the saffron. Set this to the side and get jamming.

3. Over medium high heat, bring the apricots and sugar to a boil. The jam will cook very quickly, so stir constantly with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching the bottom. If any foam appears on the surface of your jam just skim it off, I didn't have to do this.

4. After about 10 minutes, check the jam for doneness. It should be thick and will spatter like hot lava, so watch your hands!

5. When done, take the pan off of the heat and stir in the saffron sugar mixture, rose water and lemon juice. Pour into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 min.

Hot tip from Food in Jars: just pull the apricots in half with your fingers to remove the pits. Easy!!
Be careful with the rose water, it is VERY strong. No one wants jam that tastes like perfume.

I entered this jam in the Can You Can It? contest over at Garden of Eating, you guys should enter something too!

18 comments:

  1. i love the monochromatic scheme that results from saffron + apricots - beautiful deep golden colors that are the perfect summery hues!

    ps love the silhouette of the weck jars!

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  2. Isn't that cookbook fantastic!? I managed to gloss over this recipe in it ... I'll have to go back and check it out. I've been dying to do something with apricots and I LOVE rose water.

    The author Anne Lamott had a great comment about apricot jam: she said it's the kind of jam that would show up in a pb&j school lunch when your dad was making it. (Which was so true for me.)

    While my dad didn't hide saffron growing up, he did hide BBQ chips. We'd eventually find them stashed all over the kitchen. Great post!

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  3. I love jams and making jams and I absolutely adore the idea of adding rose water and saffron to apricots! It looks delicious!!!!
    I think that cookbook is right for me!! I should have one copy!

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  4. Stunning, these are my kind of flavours!
    *kisses* HH

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  5. Oh yum! This looks divine! I want to get into canning—just haven't tried yet...nor have I been taught. This could be interesting :)

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  6. This is my third mouthwatering recipe I saw since morning that asks for saffron and now I know I will have to make a trip to the Indian market to grab a bottle of saffron! I have a refrigerator full of peaches maybe I will replace apricots with them and will try this jam recipe.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Apricot jam is one of my favourites, though I've never made. You've inspired me to do something with the crab apples I've got in the backyard - I'm thinking a little rose water may be the perfect addition. Love the photos!

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  8. Natalie - I know! The color turned out so great!
    Plum - Love it! A BBQ chip stash sounds pretty tasty
    Rita - Definitely check out that cookbook, it is so inspiring
    Melissa - Once you get the hang of it, it's easy and so satisfying. Check out Food in Jars for some inspiration if you need it!
    Prerna - I think peaches would be great, but their skins might not break down as well as the apricot skin, let me know how it turns out
    Renee - My mom makes incredible crab apple jelly, I wish I could get my hands on some right now!

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  9. Your apricot jam looks lovely! I wish I had a Dad with an endless supply of saffron (one of my favorite spices- I have expensive taste). :)

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  10. Wow this looks so delicious. I want some! Heehee but I think I am goin to have to buy this book.

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  11. I really love this story bout your pops. Of all things saffron.

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  12. La domestique - Thanks, I'm pretty lucky :)
    Bel - I can't say enough good things about this book, it is so, so inspiring!

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  13. What a gorgeous concoction! And amazing photos, too. Thanks for kicking Can You Can It? off with a bang!

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  14. Eve - It is truly delicious! One of my new favorites!

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  15. I hope I can find good apricots so I can try this this summer. Ours are usually from so far away that it's probably not worth it. Lovely!

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  16. Hi, just found you via FB thanks to Azita... your blog is simply delicious... and this jam... with saffron! Stunning.

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  17. Just found this recipe via Food52, and what a lovely combination! I cannot wait to give it a try.

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