Apricot Habanero Jam

July 24, 2023marissamakes
apricot habanero jam in a glass jar, styled with fresh apricots and peppers

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: about 4 cups

apricot habanero jam in a glass jar, styled with fresh apricots and peppers

Every time apricot season rolls around, I love to make this apricot habanero jam. It’s the perfect blend of spicy and sweet, and can be used in so many different ways! Use it on charcuterie boards, on toast, as a dipping sauce, or even as a marinade and glaze for meats. It also makes a fabulous cocktail base for something extra summery and delicious. You can also make this recipe with dried apricots, if you’ve missed apricot season where you live! This recipe is for a super easy fridge/freezer jam, so canning equipment and expertise is not required.

Ingredients for this apricot habanero jam

Apricot season is rather fleeting, and this is one of my favorite ways of utilizing these fresh and flavorful orange gems that come into season during the late fall and early to mid summertime. I suggest using apricots that are ripe, but not overripe. However, this recipe is a great way to use up fruit that is a little past its prime, but still good to eat. If you’re using a lot of overripe fruit, cut back a little bit on the sugar. The fruit will naturally have more sweetness than apricots that are at perfect ripeness.

If apricots are not in season where you live, or you don’t have access to fresh ones, you can also use dried apricots. Simply take 700g of dried apricots and cover them in boiling water. Leave them to soak overnight, then give them a rough chop the next day and proceed with the recipe as written.

Feel free to adjust the amount of habanero pepper to your personal spice level. I used 3 habaneros in this recipe for myself, but I’ve also made it with 1 and it still had plenty of heat. Regardless of how many habaneros you use, please use gloves when chopping the peppers! Trust me, you DON’T want to get the capsaicin from these on your hands. If you do, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and I personally find that washing my hands with milk or another dairy product is the fastest way to soothe the burn from chopping peppers. The fats in dairy help to quickly break down the oils in peppers that make it burn on our skin.

How to make and store this apricot habanero jam

This jam is very easy to make, and does not require any special tools or prep. Simply chop the fruit and peppers (using gloves!), and combine all the ingredients in a large, heavy bottomed pot, like a dutch oven. Once the mixture is at a boil, we’ll let it cook for a little bit until it starts to reduce and thicken, and then it’s ready to enjoy. If you prefer a more jellied consistency to your jam, feel free to add pectin. As written, this recipe is a much softer jam, much like preserves. It will also thicken up more as it cools.

Because this recipe is not written as a canning method, it needs to be stored in the fridge or freezer. It keeps for a week or two in the fridge, and several months in the freezer, so you can keep a stash of summer going year round.

How to use this jam

There’s so many ways to enjoy this jam, including straight out of the jar with a spoon. Here’s some of my favorite ways to eat this apricot habanero jam:

  • As an accompaniment for cheese and cured meats on a charcuterie board
  • As a marinade and glaze for meats, such as pork, or glazed meatballs
  • As a spicy and fun base for cocktails (don’t forget the tajín rim!)
  • On sourdough toast with some salted butter
  • Thinned out with a little bit of hot water and used as a dipping sauce for dumplings of all kinds

And so many more! The possibilities are endless, and the tangy, sweet, and spicy flavor profile works in SO many different ways.

I hope you enjoy this Apricot Habanero Jam! Be sure to tag me on instagram so I can see your creations, and leave me a comment below! Your feedback helps other home cooks and bakers who are giving this recipe a try, and I love hearing about what you made!

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: about 4 cups

This apricot habanero jam is the perfect blend of spicy and sweet, and can be used in so many different ways! Because it is a recipe for fridge/freezer jam, there is no specialized equipment for canning required.


For the jam

  • 1.5 lbs fresh apricots, (700g, ~5 cups)
  • 1-3 fresh habanero peppers, depending on your desired spice level. I used 1 large and 2 small ones
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped for color, optional
  • 3 cups granulated white sugar, (600g)
  • 1.5 cups distilled white vinegar, (355 ml)


To make the jam

  • 1)

    Halve and remove the pits from the apricots, and roughly chop them into quarters.

  • 2)

    With gloved hands, de-seed and chop the habanero peppers. If you love spice, you can leave in the seeds, but just be aware that they will increase the spice level.

  • 3)

    Finely chop the bell pepper, and add the apricots, and both peppers to a large, heavy bottomed pot.

  • 4)

    Add the sugar and white vinegar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil hard for about 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to a low boil-high simmer.

  • 5)

    Use a wooden spoon to press the apricots against the side of the dutch oven to encourage them to fully break down.

  • 6)

    Once the jam has thickened and the apricots have broken down, remove from heat (about 15-20 mins). It will be a little bit runny while it is warm, but will thicken as it cools.

  • 7)

    Ladle into jars, and allow to cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge for up to a week, or the freezer for several months.

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