Related to my recent trip to Armenia, here’s a recipe for apricot preserves with a Caucasian twist. As you can see from the picture above, apricots are plentiful in Armenia. Why not combine them with some local brandy and honey? Young Armenian brandies may lack the subtlety to be enjoyed as digestifs, but they offer a robust flavor that can stand the heat of cooking applications. I’ve already mentioned the famous Yerevan Brandy Company here, and their 5-star (which means 5-year old) Ararat brandy is perfect for the kitchen — you can even find it in some U.S. liquor stores. For the honey, choose something light and mild, such as acacia honey.
This recipe is adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which covers all the aspects of canning in over 400 recipes. Try the preserves with an almond croissant!
Armenian brandied apricot preserves
Yields 1 pint
24 oz pitted apricots, quartered
6 oz sugar
1 1/2 oz light honey
2 tsp lemon juice
6 g powdered pectin
3 oz Armenian brandy (such as 5-star Ararat)
- Toss the apricots, sugar, honey and lemon juice in a saucepan, and let rest for 45 minutes.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then gently boil for 25 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Mix the pectin with the brandy, add to the saucepan, and boil for 3 minutes. Skim off the foam and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a sterilized pint jar, seal and process in a 200 F water bath for 15 minutes.