Smooth Apricot Jam with Vanilla and Honey

Recipe courtesy of

• 2.2 pounds (1 kg) Blenheim apricots, pitted and halved. (that would be about 6 cups.)
• 3 cups sugar
• 3/4 cup top-quality maple syrup
• juice from one lemon
• 1 vanilla bean, split
• 2 tablespoons brandy

1. Toss apricots, lemon juice, vanilla bean and maple syrup together in a ceramic bowl, cover with sugar and macerate for several hours.
2. Transfer mixture to an enameled pot and bring to a boil. Moderate the heat, skim and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until jam has thickened but not yet reached the jell point—about 15 minutes.
3. Turn off the flame and allow the jam to cool for a minute, then pass the still-hot jam through a food mill to produce a coarse puree. (There should be almost no waste, so keep at it until you're able to work the skins through the sieve.)
4. Return puree to pot, add brandy and resume cooking. Keep a close eye on it, because the puree will cling to the insides of the pot at this point and the more it thickens, the more liable it will be to scorching.
5. When the jell point is reached—perhaps another 10 minutes—ladle into jars and seal. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes.