Perfect for holiday entertaining and hostess gifts!
This Apricot Jalapeno Cheese Topper is technically a jam, so if you make this and you’ve never made jam, you’ve now made jam :) I’m just not calling it a jam because I’m not really treating it like one (not “canning” or storing it for any length of time). This is for making now and popping in the fridge or gifting. Then you can enjoy it over the holidays (or grab a jar to give as a hostess gift). Because it’s made with dried apricots, you don’t have to put it up when a fruit is in season. You can just make a batch whenever you need some.
This cheese topper is a perfect kitchen gift project, because it’s quick and easy, it’s made with dried apricots (easily available year round) and doesn’t need commercial pectin, so it’s more economical to make and needs less sugar. I like to pick up some pretty little jars and put it with a round of brie and crackers or bread in a little basket or container. If you like, include a recipe card with the Spicy Sweet Apricot Sauce below, as an idea for any left-overs.
I love to spoon some on top of warm brie, but it’s also great for just putting out a small bowl and spoon, and using a bit to top crackers and cheese (goes great with aged white cheddar or goat or cream cheese).
This recipe will make about 2 cups of cheese topper, enough for four 4-oz. (125ml) or two 8-oz. (250ml) gift jars. You can double the recipe, but I wouldn’t make too much at once. Other than the 4 hour soak, this cooks up quickly, so it’s easy to make another batch when you need some more.
Ideally, you’ll have a thermometer to make this. If you don’t, it’s still easy enough to give it a try.
Try some on salmon or chicken:
Spicy Sweet Apricot Sauce: In a small microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup Apricot Jalapeno preserve, 1 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. Sriracha, 1 tsp. sesame oil, 1 Tbsp. shredded coconut. Heat for 30-45 seconds. Spoon over grilled or pan-seared salmon or chicken.
Apricot Jalapeno Cheese Topper
Summary: Dried apricots are sticky little devils, so they’re not the easiest to dice small. Use a sharp knife and try to keep the pieces small (ideally, the same size dice for all your chopped ingredients). Ideally, you’ll have a thermometer so you’ll know exactly how long to cook this. If not, you’ll have to rely on time, which works, but is a little less precise.
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup red onion, in 1/4-inch dice
- 1/4 cup red pepper, in 1/4-inch dice
- 3 Tbsp. – 1/4 cup jalapeno pepper, in 1/4 inch dice (seeds removed)
- 2 cups white sugar
- Place diced apricots in a small bowl and add the white vinegar. Stir and push the apricot pieces down so that they are covered by the vinegar. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours, stirring a couple of times.
- Near the end of your 4 hours, dice up your onion and peppers.
- Add the soaked apricots and any remaining vinegar into a medium saucepan. Add your diced red onion, red pepper and jalapeno pepper into the saucepan and then the 2 cups of sugar. Stir to combine.
- Over medium heat, stir the mixture until it becomes very liquid and the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium-high and attach a thermometer. Cook the mixture until it reaches at least 222° F. on your thermometer then remove from heat and carefully pour into a jar and place lid on it. (If you don’t have a thermometer, you’ll want to allow it to cook at a full, rolling boil for about about 1 minute. A full, rolling boil is a vigorous boil – one that can’t be stirred down). Allow to cool at room temperature, stirring or flipping the jar over every 10 minutes or so, to distribute the solids. Once cooled, refrigerate. (If giving as gifts, be sure to label or tell the recipient to refrigerate).
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 15 min | Total time: 4 hours 30 min
Number of servings (yield): 4 four-oz. jars.