Best Substitutes for Apricot Jam or Preserves

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When it comes to adding a burst of a sweet fruit flavor to your dishes, apricot jam or preserves are a popular ingredient.

However, if you find yourself without apricot jam on hand or are looking to discover different options, there are plenty of delicious alternatives available. Some of which you might even already have on hand.

In this article, we’ll explore the best substitutes for apricot jam and how you can use them in different recipes. 

apricot jam

Best Substitutes For Apricot Jam

While apricot jam offers a unique taste, luckily there are many different alternatives that can provide similar sweetness, flavor, and texture. Here are some great substitutes that provide the best results.

Peach Jam or Peach Preserves

Peach jam or peach preserves are an excellent substitute for apricot jam because they share a similar taste and texture. The main difference between apricots and peaches, which are both stone fruits, is that peaches tend to be a bit sweeter but overall they make for the closest and best alternative. Grab a jar of peach jam to keep in your pantry here.

Dried Apricots

If you have dried apricots on hand, you can easily follow a homemade apricot jam recipe! All you need to do is chop the dried apricots, soak them in hot water until it’s softened, and then throw them in the food processor until you get a smooth, thick consistency. Making your own jam is always a great way to add a unique touch to your food.

Orange Marmalade

Using orange marmalade will add a nice, tangy and citrusy twist to your recipe. It does have a similar sweetness and color to apricot jam but keep in mind that it will bring out more zesty and citrus flavors. You can get a jar of orange marmalade here.

Duck Sauce

Duck sauce is surprisingly a great substitute! That’s because it’s usually made from apricots, plums, peaches, or pineapples. It also has sugar, ginger, vinegar, and chili peppers which makes for a more sweet and sour taste. It works best as a glaze, marinade, or dipping sauce for savory dishes.

glazing apple tarts

Apple Butter

Apple butter is a good alternative if you’re looking for something with a smooth texture. Apple butter is made by slow cooking apples with water or cider and then seasoned with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It’s a delicious way to add a rich flavor to any dessert! But do keep in mind it has an apple flavor instead apricot. Get a jar of apple butter here to keep in your pantry.

Plum Butter

For a similar texture to apple butter but with a different flavor, try delicious plum butter. I like to make homemade German Pflaumenmus (German Plum Butter) and always have an extra jar or two in the fridge or freezer. It’s super easy to make with a crockpot and a mostly hands off recipe and is a great way to use up plums.

Fruit Jams

An easier or more accessible alternative is to use other types of fruit jams. A good option is nectarine jam. Nectarine is also a stone fruit so you get a similar sweet taste. Other stone fruits like plum jam and cherry jam could also be used in place of apricot jam.

If the flavor of apricot jam isn’t as essential to your dish, then using berry fruit jams like blueberry jam, strawberry jam, raspberry jam can be a good idea since you’ll still have the sticky texture of apricot jam.

Ginger Jelly

For a unique twist, ginger jelly can be a great option. Its spicy and zesty flavor can add a surprising element to your recipes. It might  not be the most perfect substitute because of the different flavors, but it adds a delightful balance of sweet and heat.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is another very accessible apricot jam alternative that you can find at any grocery store — or even your own home pantry. While not a direct flavor match, it offers a natural sweetness and depth of flavor that compliments many dishes. Its rich and distinctive taste can be used in both sweet and savory applications. Because of its more liquid texture, it’s best to double check with your recipe.

Brown Sugar

When it comes to adding sweetness, brown sugar will do the job. It’s also very easy to find at the grocery store and you most likely have it at home already. It doesn’t have the sticky texture of apricot jam so it’s mainly a great substitute for flavoring and sweetening (albeit a different flavor than apricot).

Fruit Juice

Similar to brown sugar, fruit juice is another staple ingredient at most pantries, making it a good substitute for when you’re in a pinch. Any type of fruit, like apple juice (for flavor and sweetness) or lemon juice (for tartness and flavor), would offer a tangy, sweet flavor but the consistency may be slightly different. And some juices may not add sweetness, just flavor.

Warm Honey

Overall, honey is the best option if you’re looking for a natural, all-purpose sweetener. It has the thick, sticky texture of apricot jam as well as the perfect amount of sweetness. Depending on what kind of honey you use, it will add more depth and flavor to your recipe.

golden syrup in a jar

Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is a thick, smooth golden-colored syrup made from cane sugar that has a unique buttery scent and a light caramel flavor. It works well in glazes, sauces, and desserts, making it a versatile and delicious alternative. It’s also perfect for vegans and is often used as a honey substitute. You can buy a jar of authentic British golden syrup here or make it at home. It keeps well in a cool, dark cupboard.

Check out our step-by-step recipe to learn how to make golden syrup at home!

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a great option for those seeking a healthier substitute. This mild and natural sweetener has a similar taste to honey, so it can definitely enhance the sweetness and provide the same sticky consistency of apricot jam while also being healthy. I always have a jar of agave in my cupboard and use it as a substitute in all kinds of recipes.

Sugar Syrup

In some cases, a simple sugar syrup can do the trick. Combining sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves creates a sweet liquid that can replace apricot jam in certain recipes.

Apricot Jam FAQ

What Is Apricot Jam?

Apricot jam is a fruit spread made with ripe apricots. Best when ripe during apricot season, which is early May to July, this fruit has a unique mild, sweet, and tangy flavor profile that works amazingly well in both sweet and savory dishes.

The tartness of the apricots is balanced with the sweetness of the sugar in apricot jam. Both jam and preserves have a sticky, smooth, and easily spreadable consistency that works well in sauces, glazes, and much more. Both the sweetness and texture are important factors to consider when looking for an alternative.

Apricot jam and preserves can be found in a wide range of places from grocery stores, farmers markets, specialty food stores, and even online. I keep a jar in my fridge for cooking and baking (get this one or this low sugar one to keep in your fridge or pantry) but sometimes you realize that you’ve run out and don’t have it on hand, so it’s always a good idea to have some alternatives in mind!

What Are The Uses of Apricot Jam?

Apricot jam is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of sweet and savory ways. That’s why it’s a staple in my fridge!

Its natural sweetness and tanginess make it a good choice for spreading on toast, scones, or biscuits. One of the best ways to use it is as a filling or flavoring ingredient for a fruit cake, tarts, pastries, and other sweet dishes.

Apricot jam can also be used as a delightful glaze on both sweet treats like fruit tarts and savory dishes like roasted meats or it can be incorporated into marinades and dressings for a burst of fruitiness. 

What Is Apricot Jam Made Of?

Apricot jam is typically made from ripe apricots, a good amount of sugar, and lemon juice. The fruit is cooked down to a soft and spreadable consistency, resulting in a delicious jam that can be used in a lot of different ways.

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