Haitian Apricot Jam
Yes, you are reading right. Caribbean apricots are back on this blog, and it’s only been two weeks since this fruit was first featured here. I simply couldn’t let this season end without sharing another of my favorite, if not my favorite way of eating this fruit that is typical to our Caribbean soil with you.
If you have read my first article about Caribbean apricots you remember that tiny square bowl with a red lid from my high school years. You are also aware of the fact that I ate its content with salted crackers for breakfast on the school ground. This bowl was always filled with my favorite jam, which makes for a real breakfast of the champs if you ask me.
I am actually having some crackers and apricot jam with some freshly brewed Haitian coffee this morning as I commit these words to paper. And I am telling you, there is nothing quite like a spoonful of apricot jam spread onto your favorite crackers. It’s a small taste of heaven…and summer, of course.
A taste I discovered early on during my childhood, as this particular jam was another one of my grandmother’s specialties. Just like she made the chewiest and most gooey bonbon sirop, she also made the best apricot jam I ever had in my lifetime. I don’t think I am making that up or that I am biased. Her confiture abricots (apricot jam) was simply a delight.
Grandma’s jam was never too sweet. It always had just the right amount of fruits and sugar, and she always kept the fruits in chunks, which in my opinion made it even more successful. The fruit’s flavor was not buried under a thick syrupy sauce as often happens with jams that are overly sweetened. With each spoonful you got a real piece of fruit and thus discovered the wonderful world of flavors the apricot has to offer. Just like the real fruit, her jam was sweet but tangy.
I will forever treasure sweet memories of my grandmother’s apricot jam and I hope to be able to replicate her recipe one day though, as I mentioned before, I am well aware of the fact that she had her own secret weapon: her love for whoever she was cooking for. Maybe when I start making it for my own children and grand children I will finally get it right.
In the meantime, I leave you with this almost perfect recipe that helped me rediscover the very same Caribbean apricot jam that I am eating this morning.
The most delicious Mamey or Caribbean Apricot jam
The recipe below is based on a medium sized apricot. To get the water to fruit ratio right, make sure the water covers the fruits in the pot. Make necessary proportion adjustments using the one-to-one ratio: one part sugar for one part of water.
- 1 Caribbean apricot
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- Star Anise
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 key lime peel
- 1 juice of lime
Wash and peel the fruit
Cut it into thin slices
Transfer them to a thick bottom or non stick pot
Add the water, sugar, sweet spices, lime zest, and pinch of salt
Cook on low heat for about 45 minutes to one (1) hour stirring occasionally and removing the mousse that form on the surface
About 30 minutes into the cooking process, add your lime juice
Your jam is ready when the syrup coats a spoon
Let cool and preserve in a glass jar with a tight lid
Some people like to cook the apricot in the water before adding the sugar. They say it makes for softer fruit bites. I tried both versions and I find that the result is the same. Feel free to try both methods and see which one you prefer.