Apricot Jalapeño Jam ~ it’s sweet, hot, sticky, and makes an insanely delicious appetizer with soft cheese and crackers. Do this hot pepper jam small batch refrigerator style, or can up a bunch to last you the year, it’s up to you.
I’ve said it before, but peppers, in all their glorious variety, are my desert island ingredient.
Every year I wait patiently for summer fruit season to get here just so I can replenish my supply of all kinds of hot pepper jams and jellies. I have fun figuring out new and improved versions every year, and this season is kicking off with a spicy bang.
Serve this one the regular way, with a soft cheese like cream cheese, soft goat cheese, Brie, or, if you’re feeling like splurging, with a triple cream cheese like St. Andre. The high butterfat content makes a luxurious pairing with this sweet and spicy jam. But hot pepper jams and jellies aren’t only for the cheeseboard…use this one as a glaze for grilled meats and fish. Use it in your favorite bbq sauce recipe, dressings, marinades, or spoon it over ice cream. It takes turkey, grilled cheese, or pb&j sandwiches to a whole new level.
Apricot Jalapeño joins a whole family of hot pepper condiments on the blog, here are just a few to check out…
Rosé Wine Hot Pepper Jelly
~ another unique and gorgeous appetizer jelly made with jalapeños. I love to give it as gifts during the holidays.
Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly
~ this one is the classic, combining bell and hot peppers for a pretty confetti appearance and great sweet/hot flavor.
Hot Pepper Honey
~ this stuff is killer on soft cheese, but I use it in dressings, marinades, and sauces, too, yum!
Habanero Nectarine Hot Pepper Jam
~ one to try if you can really stand the heat!
Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam
~ this is a must during the holidays.
It would be tough to pick a favorite hot pepper jam, but this one is definitely a top contender. Apricots have such an intensely sweet/tart flavor that goes exceptionally well with the heat of the jalapeños. Neither of the ingredients dominate, and they both add fierce flavor to this bold jam.
There is something so relaxing and downright therapeutic about making jams and jellies in the summer!
To make small batch apricot jalapeño freezer jam ~
- Simply ladle the hot jam into clean jars, let cool, then cap and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, or freeze for up to a year. If freezing, be sure to leave at least 1/2 inch free space at the top to allow for expansion.
To can this apricot jalapeño jam for longer storage ~
- Ladle the hot jam into sterile canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch free headspace.
- Wipe the rims, and then screw on the caps till you meet resistance, but not too tightly.
- Boil in a hot water canner, completely covered with water, for 10 minutes.
- Cool and store.
- I use Weck canning jars, from Germany, they’re functional and pretty enough to gift. I always fill a variety of sizes for each batch of jam that I make so that I have plenty of serving and gifting options.
To make this apricot jalapeño jam without added pectin ~
- Pectin is not essential to making or canning jam, although jams and jellies without pectin are generally softer setting.
- Just follow the recipe, omitting the pectin, then boil the jam for a longer period of time, until it thickens through evaporation. When I do this method I don’t add the jalapeños until later in the boiling process so they stay fresher.
- Your jam needs to reach a temperature of 220F (104C) Note: if you live in a higher elevation this temperature will be lower. Check the chart for your particular situation, here.
- You can do a gel test to check if it’s ready: put a drop of hot jam on a plate that has been chilled in the freezer. Freeze the jam on the plate for one minute, then check, it should be set and the surface should wrinkle slightly when pushed. If not, boil longer.
Grocery list ~
- 2 lbs fresh apricots (for jam you don’t necessarily have to buy ultra ripe fruit. Just make sure they’re not super hard to the touch, and if they are, leave them out on the counter for a few days.
- granulated sugar
- 2 fresh lemons
- 3 fresh jalapeño peppers
- a box of Sure Jell dry pectin
*this recipe is adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Apricot Jalapeño Jam
- water bath canner if you plan to can this jam
- 2 pounds 900 grams whole apricots, about 10 large
- 1/4 cup 57 grams lemon juice
- 6 cups, 1350 grams sugar
- 1 envelope, 2 ounces or 56 grams Sure Jell fruit pectin
- 3 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced, seeds and all
- Prepare your canner, sterilize your jars and lids. You will need about 8 half pint jars.
- Wash the apricots, then halve them, remove the pits, and chop into 1 inch pieces. I don't peel my apricots.
- Put the apricots and the fruit pectin in a large, heavy, non-reactive pan. Bring the pot to a boil, stirring well to dissolve the pectin and encourage the apricots to soften and release their juices.
- Remove the pot from the heat and use an immersion blender to break down the chunks of fruit. Do this CAREFULLY because the mixture is extremely hot. Avoid splattering on your skin.
- Return the pot to the stove, bring to a full rolling boil again, and boil for 1 minute. Add the jalapeños to the pot.
- Add the sugar and lemon juice into the pot, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, and let it boil fully for 4 minutes (set a timer.)
- Fill your sterile jars with the hot jam, allowing 1/4 inch free space at the top, and wipe down the rims. Screw on the caps to finger tight.
- Process in your hot water canning bath for 10 minutes.
Make it your own ~
- Canning recipes are formulated in a precise way in order to be safe for preserving. If you change up this recipe, use it as a refrigerator or freezer jam, but don’t can it.
- You can use less sugar in this jam but be aware that sugar helps jams and jellies to ‘gel’.
- Use other fruit like peaches, plums, strawberries, etc.
- If you love the heat, you can use hotter peppers like Serrano or Habanero.
- If you’l like less heat, remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño, and just use 1 or 2.
Questions and Reviews
I made this jam using the exact ingredients and measurements needless to say it turned out perfect!!!!! It has been a huge hit with family and friends!!! Thank you so much for the recipe. Getting started on another batch ?
Just made this as apricots are in season now. It’s wonderful, nice change from jalapeño jelly. You never mentioned when to add the lemon juice? I canned these so I can give as gifts. For me it only made 6 8oz jars.
The lemon juice goes in with the sugar, I’ll clarify that. I hope you kept a jar aside for yourself!
I was wondering if this would work with a combination of fresh and dried apricots? Would it need more water or juice? I always have the dried on hand and can’t always find the fresh, even when they should be in season.
Yes, you can make jam using dried apricots, you just have to soak them first to rehydrate, and then you also use the soaking water. Here’s a recipe that is similar to mine, using dried apricots: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/223062/dried-apricot-jam/
This sounds wonderful! Would the recipe be successful with frozen peaches? Or, can I make it when the fresh peaches are here and keep it until the holidays for gift giving?
I believe you can use fresh or frozen peaches Nan. If you can or freeze it, it will last for the holidays.
Saw comments below re frozen peaches or apricots , i have prepared both and frozen , when thawed for readiness to cook they actually had released a lot of juice and were easier and quicker to cook down ready for the blending stage, jams turned out perfect
That’s great to know Kym, thanks.
I love these jams and jellies, Sue! This one is gorgeous and I love the sweet + hot! So many uses! And this flavor, one of my all-time favorites!
It makes the best barbecue sauce, Laura 🙂
Apricots are absolutely delicious, but with a little kick, my mouth is totally watering Sue! So many helpful tips here, and such tempting images! Delicious!
Can’t wait to try this. It would be wonderful with my home-made goat cheese for guests to try as well !
omg I can’t even…homemade goat cheese? When should I be over?
Oh this jam sounds lovely! I don’t cook with apricots often enough – you are inspiring 🙂
Thanks Tricia! I think apricots are my favorite of all the stone fruit, they definitely have the most flavor.
This looks fabulous for so many applications! Do you think it would work as well with serranos? I usually prefer them over jalapenos for more consistent heat results. I can imagine this on salmon and chicken as well. Yum.
Oh, I see you said Serranos would work fine at the end! Cool.
Over here we are in apricot full season and your recipe would be great to do. Just a question: could I use frozen hot peppers or they might form crystals with the sugar? I have a bag of frozen jalapeños……
@Alexandra, Did you try with frozen jalapenos? I am curious how they turned out.
This jam has my son Sean’s name written all over it! He would totally love it, on cheese, sandwiches, all kinds of things! Can’t wait to make him some! Thanks for the great recipe Sue!