Black Velvet Apricot Jam

A few weeks ago, I had a hankering to make some kind of fruity jam. I was hoping for a windfall of late summer peaches, but then these little jewelies caught my eye.

Black Velvet Apricot

After rejecting pluots only a week before, I was saddened to learn that these are also a stone fruit amalgamation of the plum and the apricot.  Only saddened because I was deadset against the pluot. Too sweet, skin too chewy, a lazy by-product of the worst traits of both fruits.

But the black velvet apricot learned its lesson from the pluot, and it’s pretty purple skin and bright, cheery insides proved me wrong. Tart, sweet, juicy like a good plum and fragrant like the best apricot or peach, these were the kind of surprise you want when you see an elaborate name for fruit like “black velvet apricot”. You could almost hear Alannah Myles:

Up in Memphis the music’s like a heatwave
White lightening, bound to drive you wild
Mama’s baby’s in the heart of every school girl
“Love me tender” leaves ’em cryin’ in the aisle
The way he moved, it was a sin, so sweet and true
Always wanting more, he’d leave you longing for

The fruit didn’t ask for anything more, but its name did. Instead of a basic fruit jam, I pick up the Plum Noir recipe and recreated it with this brighter colored, but no less serious tasting, fruit.

With freshly ground cardamom, fennel, and black peppercorns

With only a half pint left of this small batch, I’m already wishing I hadn’t been so timid with the fruit purchase. There’s always next summer.

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