I love spring. The weather is perfect, there are blossoms everywhere and the air is fragrant. I go the farmer’s market every week. And when you start seeing fresh green pea shoots, you know that Spring is here. A few weeks go by and then suddenly you see heaps and heaps of fresh spring peas, sweet, tender and just plain delicious. Right about this time you also see fresh apricots in the market. Although I am not a huge fan of apricots as a fresh fruit, especially when compared to nectarines and peaches, I love dried apricots.
This week I got two gifts from my friends..my neighbor gave a bag full of Apricots and my farmer’s market friend gave me a bunch of Lavender. Last year she had told me about this place not to far from where we live, ‘Lavender Hollow’. As the name can tell it is a Lavender farm and the visit was just amazing. The air was filled with the beautiful lavender frangrance adn there were bunches of fresh cu lavender everywhere.
I thought it was very sweet of my friends to share these things with me so I decided to make something that I can share back with them. So here is how I combined the two to make one yummy preserve.
Apricot jam with fresh apricots, dried apricot, Fresh lavender & Riesling!
First time tried it with lavender and it was delicious.
Apricot Lavender Preserve
• 3 pounds fresh apricots
• 12 ounces dried apricots
• 4 cups sugar
• Juice of 1 lime
• Juice of 1 orange
• Zest of 1 orange
• 10 ounces of Riesling
• 1 tsp Lavender flowers
Chop dried apricots, place in glass bowl, add wine and soak overnight.
In a new bowl, quarter fresh apricots, remove seeds, chop to a bite size bit
In nonreactive pan, add fresh apricots, sugar, orange zest/juice, and lime juice.
Simmer about 10 minutes, mixing all ingredients together until sugar dissolves
Remove from heat, cover, refrigerate overnight. Next day, add dried apricot mixture to fresh apricot mixture . Stirring, simmer until thickens
Add Lavender Flowers
Put the jam in jars and seal in water bath
I tend to simmer only for a short time and shut off the heat, letting the jam cool. I reheat for a short time again to thicken the jam. I usually make just enough to last for a few weeks so dont necessarily can it.
I love serving it with some creamy mascarpone cheese on crackers. It makes for a very fancy looking appetizer.