Apricot jam

June 24, 2010  •  Category:


Homemade apricot jam is traditional and in the past every household used to make it.
Lebanese society  has become Westernized and families now have two-wage earners busy with outside work; as a result, many people rely on an industrious grandmother, mother or aunt to perpetuate the tradition.
The best (and only) apricots to use for this purpose are from the North near Baalbeck, close to Syria; this variety is so fragrant and sweet you almost want to bottle their perfume.
My aunt Claire brought us a couple of jars that she preserved the traditional way by finishing the preparation in the sun; this serves to get rid of the excess moisture without cooking the fruit.






My aunt Claire is turning the big eight 0 in a few days; we are going to celebrate! She still looks good in her two-piece bikini and climbs mountains like a goat; she spent five years during the war scouting Lebanon, photographer in tow; while everybody was staying put at home, trying to avoid land mines and shells, she discovered that old homes, most of which had been abandoned, boasted  19th century painted ceilings; found an editor and published a beautiful coffee-table book on the topic; this was her very first professional endeavor, she was pushing seventy-years young.
To take a look at her book, clickhere.

Here is Aunt Claire‘s recipe:

  • 2 Pound of apricots
  • 1 1/2 pounds of granulated sugar

1. Wash and dry the apricots (important to dry them and not leave any moisture on them); seed them and place them in a bowl; for each layer of apricots add a layer of sugar, then a layer of fruit until all  apricots are used up. Leave in bowl overnight.
2. Dump the apricots on a large sieve, let them drain; collect all the juice and bring it to a boil either in a copper pan or a pan with a wide bottom; simmer the juice and after 30 minutes or less, test it by placing a plate near the pot and with a spoon placing a drop on the plate; if it looks like it has the right consistency, stop the cooking. It should be thick and syrupy.
3. Place the apricots in the syrup and cook for about 20 minutes at a slow simmer; let the mixture rest overnight in a pyrex dish, as large as possible in size.
4. The next day, place the pyrex dish in full sun for a few hours, stirring it briefly a few times with a wooden spoon. Place the empty jars in full sun as well to sterilize them.
5. Spoon the apricot jam in the jars and serve when cool; keep in the fridge or store.


60 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    Simply gorgeous! Ma confiture préférée!



  2. radia-recettes says:

    j’aime beaucoup la confiture d’abricot, et encore fait maison, elle est délicieuse, nous aussi en algérie , nous avons gardé ce genre de tradition et j’espère pour longtemps, bisou chef joumana

  3. A Canadian Foodie says:

    This is so easy to make – and with my Thermomix, even easier. I love the control I have when I make my own food. I find buying jams scary and feel so good when I make my own. We don’t eat that much of it, anyway, so it isn’t such a big chore. I love going to the Okanagan (BC) and picking my own apricots. The little ones have the most flavour, but the larger ones are so gorgeous and fleshy.

  4. lisa says:

    Happy Birthday to your Aunt — what a lovely tribute to her. She is a very talented woman.

    Such a delicious looking jam. I can almost smell the sweet fragrance of the apricots.

  5. Suman Singh says:

    mouth watering pics..apricot jam looks yummie…must say aunt Clarie still looks young..advanced birthday wishes to her…

  6. Amber @Almost Vegan says:

    Your aunt Claire sounds like a truly amazing lady :]

  7. Nadege says:

    I couldn’t open the link to take a look a the book. I will try later.
    I love apricots and miss my apricot trees. The ones bought at
    the stores are picked too green.
    Happy birthday to your aunt Claire! She looks beautiful.

  8. Samantha Angela says:

    How many jars of jam does this make? What size jar?

    • Joumana says:

      I don’t know how many jars, I am guessing 4 jars of 8 ounces each. The idea is to use the same proportion of jam/sugar for any weight you end up using; note that the weight of the apricots is for the seedless fruit.

  9. Gloria says:

    My favorite Jam is this, I love to have it all he year.,yours look lovely!!
    and your Aunt is absolutely wonderful.! gloria

  10. Barbara says:

    Good for your Aunt Claire! She looks like fun, too!

    This is sure the time of year to be making apricot jam. It looks wonderful, Joumana. I can think of so many ways to use this, too. Not just as jam either. Be wonderful with chicken!

  11. Lyndsey says:

    Your aunt sounds like a wonderful lady. Happy birthday to her in a couple of days. This apricot jam looks awesome. I’m very fussy about my jam (usually don’t eat it much) but apricot is my favorite. Wish I could get some of those perfect apricots from the North near Baalbeck!

  12. melrose says:

    I looooooooooove apricot jam, and I make it every summer! Then in winter time (Christmas) I need home made jam (without gelatin) for making vanilice, damen kapric and other little sweets!

  13. Antonella says:

    Happy Birthday aunt Claire!

    Joumana, you can’t leave an architect (and restoration specialist) with a promise of painted ceilings and a broken link 😉
    Anyway, aunt Claire’s jam seems to be delicious… I have already heard about Baalbeck apricot: someone told me they are the best!

  14. Anita says:

    Nothing better than homemade jam and I love your aunt’s feisty spirit, Happy Birthday!! We “June” girls are pretty cool (hahaha 🙂

  15. rebecca says:

    oh wow this looks yummy, my Grandma makes jams and my Dad lol just gave you a shout out on my blog Rebecca

  16. Katie@Cozydelicious says:

    I have never made jam this way, with so much care! I usually just throw it all in a pot with some sugar and call it a day. I’m going to have to try your aunt’s beautiful recipe. Minimally cooking the apricots themselves must make for a fantastic texture and bright flavor. I love apricots!

  17. shayma says:

    your Aunt is gorgeous- pl give her my regards on her birthday- i hope she continues to climb mountains and wear bikinis and inspire us all. by the way, are you resting in beirut, J? Seems you are cooking a heck of a lot, any time for pampering? x shayma

  18. Jen_from_NJ says:

    Happy Birthday to Aunt Claire and thank you for this great recipe!

  19. Ivy says:

    Love apricot jam and very interesting method of making it.

  20. Stella says:

    Joumana, I want to be like Aunt Claire! That’s why I’m going to make her apricot jam. I’m sure it won’t be as good, as I can’t get apricots from Baalbeck. I’ll get some decent organic ones though…

  21. Katerina says:

    I admire those dynamic women who have the guts to do things they are not supposed to do. At the same time they are not afraid to occupy themselves with more “female” endeavors such as cooking and baking with great success. Jam’s are my husband’s favorites. This one is a keeper

  22. Priya says:

    Its definitely a great pleasure to enjoy homemade jams, apricot jam looks super yummy..

  23. Koko says:

    Your aunt sounds amazing- good for her to live her life to the fullest, so adventureous! I hope she has a great 80th birthday!

    The jam looks wonderful, such a lovely colour, too!

  24. Pamela says:

    You must be very proud of your aunt Claire! she is just amazing and unique

  25. June says:

    Please pass along my best wishes to your Aunt Claire. She sounds like quite the lady! I’ll be trying her method for jam when we get back from vacation. What a great way to make use of our hot sun!

  26. Nazira says:

    Hi Joumana,

    I love your Aunt’s way of making jam. Can you recommend another fruit as a substitute that would work well here?

  27. Anh says:

    So lovely. I love apricot jam, but apricot season is quite short in Australia. When it comes again, I will remember this 🙂

  28. SYLVIA says:

    Apricots deep golden color in a jar indicates the presence of beta-carotene.This is the best jam with a beautiful aroma, perfect texture and tartness, Joumana, your aunt looks very poised, captivating and put together.
    Happy birthday to you aunt Claire, I wish you health and longevity. Thank you for sharing your marvelous recipe with us. we will always cherish it at our tables.

  29. noobcook says:

    I adore home made jam! this looks good!

  30. Cherine says:

    I love apricot jam!! I’d definitely try Claire’s recipe!

  31. byba says:


    jolie marmelade ma chére amie et facile à faire c ‘est l’idéal!.
    bon vendredi et gros bisouss de ma part.


  32. Oui, Chef says:

    I lOVE apricot jam, but have never thought to make any myself, sticking rather to blueberry and strawberry, which I can find grown locally. To heck with local sourcing for now….I have to make this jam! – S

  33. grace says:

    so she’s nearly three times my age and wearing a two-piece? wowza, what a woman! great recipe, joumana. 🙂

  34. Julie says:

    Cette confiture a l’air extraordinaire, à l’abricot c’est ma préférée. J’y plongerais bien ma cuillère dedans!
    Bon anniversaire à ta tante, ça a l’air d’être une personne incroyable!
    Plein de bisous!

  35. lauresophie says:

    I just post the same recipe (more or less)! Funny! have a nice time for the birthday! See you!

  36. deana says:

    Wow, I just made apricot jam because the apricots were so beautiful… your aunt is gorgeous. WHat a woman and what a recipe! Just perfect simple fruit as it should be.!

  37. Nadji says:

    Une confiture très répandue sur la rive sud de la Méditerranée.
    Très bonne.
    Joumana, tu es encore aux USA ou déjà installée au Liban?
    A bientôt.

  38. Patty Price says:

    My grandmother made homemade apricot jam with the apricots that she and my grandfather bought from apricot farms that used to exist in San Jose California, your apricot jam post has really brought back some vivid memories for me, having the delicious tasting homemade jam on toast for breakfast in their home, I remember it vividly like it was yesterday! Thanks for sharing and I would love to try your Lebanese apricot jam.

  39. PJ says:

    Looks so appetizing!!!

  40. sweetlife says:

    Happy bday to your aunt, she is simply beautiful, love the pics and her book looks great…great jam, I hoep she has a great day


  41. Doc says:

    Wow, you have some great genes! What an inspiration! Best wishes to your Aunt!

  42. Sushma Mallya says:

    i have some apricots, i can use them to make these ,yummy & perfect apricot jams..

  43. TastyTrix says:

    As a person who doesn’t like overly sweet things, this really appeals to me. I would just love it for breakfast!

  44. TastyTrix says:

    Ah – well, this jam looks great too, but I meant my last comment for the upside cherry cake! Oops. And happy birthday to your awesome aunt!

  45. Bria @ WestofPersia says:

    I have a jar of these very preserves at home; they’re from Lebanon and they’re the BEST. You are right. Soooooo fragrant. Thanks for the recipe. Your aunt sounds like an amazing lady, by the way.

  46. citronetvanille says:

    Je suis impressionnée! Quelle femme incroyable ta tante Claire! non seulement par la fabrication unique de sa confiture en seichant les fruits au soleil mais alors le livre qu’elle a publie à 70 ans! incroyable! un exemple pour toutes les femmes. Pour ce qui est de la confiture, je me doute que la texture et parfum doivent etre particulièrement riches et goûtus! Bravo Claire et félicitations pour ce très bel ouvrage.

  47. I Sicilian says:

    I love making my own jams. I only eat the homemade ones. They are so much fruitier, have more texture and you sweeten it to your liking. Everyone should try this recipe, it is so easy to make, why waste money store bought ones when this is so much better for you.

  48. Faith says:

    Your aunt sounds like an amazing woman — I’m wishing her a very happy birthday! This looks like a fantastic recipe for apricot jam, which is one of my all-time favorites. It’s funny, apricot isn’t not one of the more popular jams here but when I was in Syria it was so prevalent I started to prefer it over other flavors!

  49. OysterCulture says:

    I love apricot jam and find it amazing that only 2 ingredients are required to make something that is close to perfection on bread.

  50. FOODESSA says:

    It seems that the older and wiser members of our families always seem to have the easiest and ultimately best recipes.
    Thank you Aunty Claire ;O)

    Flavourful wishes,

  51. Rachana says:

    Simply gorgeous! I love apricot jam!

  52. Lentil Breakdown says:

    I see you get your drive and energy from Aunt Claire! Cool! There is no substitute for apricot jam. Where would my rugelach be without it? Nowhere, I tell you!

  53. Mimi says:

    Such a simple recipe. Growing up my mother always made apricot jam, it is still my favorite jam. This is a jam you can not buy in a store.

  54. hellaD says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your Aunt’s method. I just love the idea of the sun soaking into the jam, so delicious and so good for you! Yum

  55. Leila says:

    Thank you! Just like the jam we eat in Syria and I never made it before but now I always will! I had a bumper crop of apricots this year, so now I’ll make more…

  56. Aida sid says:

    I can’t wait to try this version. I agree with the method of drying the apricots well. In the past I had problems with the fruit rotting in the jars, probably because no one told me about drying the fruit. Also, I always seem to burn the bottom of the jam regardless of how careful I tried. This time I am taking notes and not cooking the fruit and the syrup all at once. It makes sense to make the syrup and then add the fruit. I will let you know how this goes. I am a little hesitant however as I am making a bulk batch of 10 kilos

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