I know I say this all the time, but I love summer. It is a season of happy times, beautiful weather, and delicious food. I mean look at these gorgeous apricots!
The other day I was at Trader Joe’s, and they had cartons of these succulent, organic apricots. I kept looking at them, admiring them, drooling over them, envisioning a bright, fresh jam, but, then I thought, “I’m not going to buy them today.”
Of course, once I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about those fiery little orbs that were sitting in their plastic cartons gems in a treasure chest. I kept saying to myself, “They are going to be all gone by the time I go back, and I’m going to be so disappointed.”
So, the next day I went back to Trader Joe’s, and I bought not one, but two cartons of those happy, glowing apricots. I tucked them into my grocery bag, and as soon as I got home, I went to work on this jam.
My hands were soon sticky from the luscious fruit, and in no time at all I was looking at bowl full of amber-colored jam. In it went to the squat canning jars to be saved on the shelf to give away as gifts or to eat in the winter in hopes of savoring a small glimmer of summer. I think what I love about canning is that you are not only preserving a flavor, but you are also saving a moment in time that you come back to every time you open up a jar.
While the jam does have a fair amount of mango in it, the apricot flavor is much bolder. It goes great with warm bread, and I even tucked it in a cookie, but more on that later. For now, happy canning and happy memory-making!
Mermelada de Chabacano y Mango
Click here for printable recipe.
Apricot Mango Jam (Makes about six 4-oz. jelly jars)
6 fresh apricots (1 lb., 3 cups, 450 g)
2 large mangoes (¾ lb., 2 cups, 350 g)
4 cups sugar (1 ¾ lb., 800 g)
Juice from 2 lemons
→Sterilize six to seven 4 oz. canning jars (lids off) by boiling them in a large canning pot for about 10 minutes.
→Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Sterilize the lids and rims by boiling them for about 10 minutes.
→Peel the mangoes. Cut into cubes. Place in a blender with lemon juice and blend so that your jam will not be stringy. Set mango puree to the side.
→You do not need to remove the skin from the apricots. Cut them in half. Remove the pit. Then, cut in half again. Place apricot quarters in a large pot.
→Add the mango puree to the apricots. Add the sugar to the apricot-mango mixture and stir everything together.
→Cook the apricot-mango mixture over medium heat. Once the mixture reaches a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. The apricots will start to break down at this point. You can help them along by using a potato masher. Mash them so that there are no large pieces. This may take several minutes. Once you feel that they are sufficiently mashed, continue to stir the jam every few minutes so that it doesn’t boil over. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly so that you don’t burn yourself when trying to pour it into the canning jars.
→Fill a sterilized canning jar with jam and leave about a ¼ inch space at the top. Put the lid on and tighten with the rim. Repeat for the remaining jars.
→Fill your canning pot with enough water to cover the closed jars. (Jars should not be in the pot yet.) Bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, lower the filled jars into the pot. Boil for about 15 minutes.
→Turn off the heat and remove jars from the pot. Place them on a folded towel. As the jars cool, you should hear the lids popping to create a seal. If a seal is not created, the jam should be stored in the refrigerator, not a room temperature.
- You can also sterilize the jars and rims (not lids) by washing them in the dishwasher.
- When I made this, I did not puree the mango. However, after trying the jam, I think this is an important step so that the jam does not turn out stringy.
- I like my cajeta to be a darker caramel color. I think it has a better consistency and deeper flavor.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Simone’s Kitchen.