Apricot jam with vanilla beans

Apricot blends perfectly with vanilla, making this jam so unbelievably fragrant, and the pectin stock gave it such a rich fruity flavour.

I consider myself extremely lucky for having spent my childhood in nature. Back then, we didn’t see it as a privilege or as part of our holidays and we certainly didn’t know how lucky we were and how special this was. It was just something completely normal and ordinary. As kids, we believed that our lives were exactly the same as any other kid’s around the world, surrounded by nature.

Living and playing in nature! Being barefoot all day long, playing with the dirt, making cookies out of mud (I certainly did that), perhaps without even having weather appropriate clothing on.. Since we didn’t go on holidays near the sea very often, it was good enough for us to fill up a tub with water and pretend (with the endless and wild imagination of a child) we’re at some exotic beach, swimming and splashing about non-stop! We didn’t even care about the times we’d hurt ourselves during play, we’d just ignore our bloody knees and go back to playing without tears and yells, and definitely without a single drop of Dettol. Everything was so normal!

I see children sitting in a chair for long hours all the time these days, constantly looking at a screen, bigger or smaller one, and it honestly upsets me. I just want to take them by the hand and give them incentive to go out to play and run, get dirty, be close to animals, roll in the sand and the grass, just live and be happy!

By being outside, they’ll get to know, touch and feel the world around them, see and admire its beauty. I’m just so glad that my daughter had the chance to experience a more “normal” childhood where she could carelessly play in our garden or at the beach for hours, barefoot and free, without looking for a tablet all the time.

Summers felt endless when I was a kid. One of our favourite things to do was fruit picking, all kinds of summer fruits and mostly the ones we could find at my grandfather’s orchard. I still remember the flavours and scents. We’d climb up the trees to reach them, yet sometimes we didn’t really need to; all the ripe fruits would fall to the ground and we, like proper fruit pickers, would just sloppily rub them with our hands and eat them. We absolutely loved summer fruits.

Apricots were clearly among my favourites. I used to await them eagerly each year and, to be honest, I still do. As a child, I knew each and every tree, every branch in our orchard and judging from their size and unbelievable colour, I think they were Manchurian apricots. So juicy and delicious, I can almost still feel their incredible sweet and sour, jam-like taste.

I’m so, so grateful for our apricot trees. They truly had such a great year, but sadly, apricot season is coming to an end. Luckily, I managed to pick one last basket of fresh, fragrant apricots and since I just made my own green apple pectin stock, I think it’s time to put it to good use and make my all-time favourite and super summery apricot jam, only this time I’ll add a few vanilla beans too.

Apricot blends perfectly with vanilla, making this jam so unbelievably fragrant, and the pectin stock gave it such a rich fruity flavour. Using pectin also allowed me to reduce the quantity of sugar to half without compromising the sweetness of my jam at all!


1kg pitted apricots

½ kg granulated sugar

350g green apple pectin stock

1 lemon juice

Seeds from 1 vanilla bean


1. Cut the apricots in half and remove the seeds.

2. In a large and wide pot, add the apricots and sugar and stir gently to mix the ingredients well. Set aside for about 20 minutes so that the fruits release their juices and aroma.

3. Place the pot on heat and bring to a boil, then add the pectin stock and lemon juice. Continue cooking on medium heat while stirring frequently for about 20 minutes. Skim the foam that appears on top.

4. Add the vanilla seeds and cook for another 10 minutes.

5. Sterilize your jars. There are many ways to do it but I choose to wash them and then put them in the oven at 100C for 30 minutes.

6. While the jam is still hot, fill up the jars and seal them well. Let them cool down and store in the refrigerator.