Apricot Preserves with Rose

by autumn on June 2, 2015

Apricot Preserves with Rose // Autumn Makes & Does

There have been a lot of pictures of rhubarb on Instagram lately. For nearly the past ten years I’ve marked my year with rhubarb at the greenmarket–the pink messiah of spring.

Apricot Preserves with Rose // Autumn Makes & DoesI’m deeply grateful for all that has come my way in the past year–the ways that I’ve been able to stretch and all that my new habitat has afforded me. I’m a happy desert creature for sure.

Making my way west and deciding to live in a rural area hasn’t been without its challenges and the big one for me–as someone who makes a living in part writing about eating locally and seasonally year round–has been the barriers to eating locally and seasonally year round.

Apricot Preserves with Rose // Autumn Makes & Does

It has been almost a year and I’m still working to establish a seasonal rhythm, figuring out how to keep a steady supply of sustainable, whole foods in my fridge, and mourning the loss of u-pick strawberries. So this is all to say, no rhubarb.

And last week, I was really pouting about my rhubarb plight. And just generally feeling angst about moving to a place that, at times, makes it feel harder to do my job. It’s one thing to be aware of the socio-economic challenges of having access to good food, but it’s another thing to be in the midst of it. The biggest grocery store in our town–the one with the most produce and organic options–is closing in a couple weeks.

Apricot Preserves with Rose // Autumn Makes & Does

Missing local rhubarb is, of course, a very first world problem. But the genuine sense of loss I feel at not being able to eat locally year round (yet!), speaks to the power, I think, of syncing up our lives–even in small ways–with the seasons.

After my down week, I saw a friend at a baby shower Saturday and she handed me a brown paper bag. Apricots! She’s lucky I didn’t burst into tears. What a sweet lesson that bag of backyard apricots was.

Apricot Preserves with Rose // Autumn Makes & Does

I happily turned them into this apricot rose preserves, a riff on the Blue Chair Fruit recipe that Lottie + Doof mentions here. The apricots smelled so lovely and floral when they were cooking, I just had to amp that aspect up a bit. A note on adding rosewater: it’s on the level of drops. When you can smell it and you’re not quite sure if you can taste it, you’ve added enough. I tend to think that adding rosewater to taste is the best policy because it can be a polarizing ingredient.

This makes just a pint, so if you didn’t want to process it in a water-bath canner, you could stash it in the fridge. I processed mine in quarter pint jars so that I had plenty to share.

Apricot Preserves with Rose // Autumn Makes & Does


Apricot Preserves with Rose
Recipe TypePreserves
Author: Autumn Giles
Prep time: 10 mins, plus an overnight rest
Cook time:
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: makes 1 pint
A simple apricot preserve with rose
  • 1.4 pounds pitted apricots (1.6 ounces before pitting)
  • 8 ounces white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Rosewater to taste
  1. Use your hands to pull apart the apricots into roughly halves. No need to peel them! Pop out and discard the pits as you go.
  2. Place the halved apricots in a large bowl and add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Cover the mixture and refrigerate overnight.
  3. On the second day, transfer the fruit sugar mixture to a wide, shallow pan. A large high-sided skillet is ideal!
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat and continue cooking on high until a dollop placed on a plate and cooled for a couple minutes in the freezer does not run together when you drag your finger through it (see above). The cooking time will really vary based on the size and shape of your pan, but mine was around 6-7 minutes so it happens fast! Stir in the rosewater to taste (or skip it if you don’t have any) once the preserve is off the heat.
  5. Transfer to a pint jar and refrigerate or transfer to half-pint or quarter-pint jars and process in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes, adjusting for altitude as needed. More info on water bath processing here.


  • It has been my experience that apricots will break down enough that there’s no need to cut them up beyond halving, especially if the final texture that you’re aiming for is a preserve (my preference) rather than a jam.  That said, if yours are particularly large, you may quarter them.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shae June 2, 2015 at 10:35 pm

Autumn this is beautiful in every way. I love following your new adventure, and I’m so glad those apricots made their way to you.


2 autumn June 8, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Thank you, Shae <3


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