Apricot jam pops up in a lot of recipes and has a variety of important uses in the kitchen. For baked goods like tarts, pies, and crostatas, the jam makes an excellent glaze. Its sweet, acidic flavor is as much at home layering a cake as it is in a savory chicken or pork crockpot.
If you've got an apricot allergy or you don't have any in the pantry, an alternative will be helpful. We've pulled together a list of our favorite apricot jam substitutes which work just as well as the original ingredient.
What can I use to replace apricot jam?
To replace apricot jam in a recipe, try orange marmalade, apple jelly, duck sauce, ginger jelly, dried apricots, or canned fruit. A combination of gelatin, sugar, and water will provide an excellent glaze without adding flavor and color. If you’ve got fresh apricots, you may also want to make a batch of homemade jam.
1. Orange Marmalade
Orange marmalade is usually made with Seville oranges and has a combination of sweet and bitter flavors. Its color and texture are very similar to apricot jam and it can be used in a wide variety of applications. If you are looking to make malva pudding, then marmalade is a good option.
Keep in mind, that marmalade has a more bitter flavor. As a glaze or cooked into savory dishes, this will be less noticeable. But if you’re using it on toast or to fill pastries then the difference will be significant.
Quick tip: As a glaze, you may want to strain the marmalade before using it. This will result in a better-looking coating that has a clear sheen.
2. Apple jelly
Apple jelly is a type of fruit conserve that typically combines apple juice with ingredients like sugar, corn syrup, pectin, and citric acid. It is an excellent option for smothering over toast and muffins; or try combining with other spices like cloves and cinnamon and using as a delicious glaze for pork.
As you would expect, apple jelly won't provide the same apricot flavor. This means it won't be suitable for malva pudding or a recipe such as apricot chicken where apricot flavor is the hero.
Apple Jelly is best for glazing pastry and fruits. It doesn't add unwanted color, instead, it just adds a shiny gleam. It is also one of the most neutral-flavored substitutes you'll find.
- Peach jelly will also work well if you need a preserve that has a flavor profile closer to apricot jam.
- Red currant jelly is a sweet and tangy choice, good for glazing roast turkey, lamb, and chicken.
3. Duck sauce
While duck sauce isn't appropriate for sweet dishes, it is an excellent replacement in savory dishes. This sauce is usually made from apricots and is delicious for basting meat like ribs, pork, or chicken.
Duck sauce also contains spices so, as a substitute, it won't taste as pure as other options like orange marmalade. For many, the added spices will be a welcome addition, adding depth of flavor to savory food.
This sauce is easy to find in most grocery stores. Head for the Asian section where the other sauces are shelved.
Depending on the brand you choose, this condiment is a good low sugar apricot jam alternative. But keep in mind there will be higher levels of sodium.
Related reading: What does duck taste like?
4. Ginger jelly
For all those ginger lovers, use ginger jelly in sweet or savory applications. We think its best use is in malva pudding - it pairs deliciously with sherry or brandy so add a splash to the dessert for maximum indulgence.
So long as you're okay with ginger flavor, you can brush a melted ginger jelly glaze onto pastries and fruit as well.
It can be a challenge finding ginger jelly in some stores. If you've got a few days before you need to make the recipe, consider searching online as there are plenty of suppliers that will ship to your door.
If your main goal is to glaze food then gelatin, or gelatine, makes a great apricot jam replacement. You get the same mouth-watering shine without adding unwanted flavor.
Follow these simple steps on how to make 1 cup of glaze.
Step 1: Combine half a cup of water with half a cup of granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Heat at a low temperature until the sugar dissolves then transfer to a container and allow to cool.
Step 2: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gelatin over half a cup of cool water. Allow the mixture to bloom for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Gently heat the gelatin in a double boiler, stirring frequently until the gelatin dissolves. Pour in half a cup of cooled sugar syrup and mix. Use immediately while the liquid is runny and reheat in the microwave briefly if it begins to harden.
6. Dried apricots
Dried apricots won’t be suitable for glazing. But in slow-cooked savory dishes they transform into a plump, sweet ingredient that balances out salty, heavy meat. This is a great choice for baking apricot chicken.
7. Canned fruit
If you've got a can of peaches (or apricots) lying around in the pantry then put the fruit to use. First, strain the syrup into a pan and heat it with a spoonful of corn starch until it thickens. Crush the fruit up with a fork, then as the mixture starts to boil, add the fruit and cook for a couple of minutes.
This fruit sauce is delicious between cakes, topped on desserts and pancakes, or used in savory dishes.
8. Homemade jam
If you enjoy apricot jam but can't get to a store to buy some, you may want to try making your own if time permits. Check out our recipe that allows you to make fresh, homemade apricot jam, without pectin, in about two hours.
Summary of apricot jam replacements
|What to consider
|Glazes, desserts, and savory applications
|Adds bitter flavor notes
|Relatively neutral flavor and color
|Flavoring meat dishes
|Less sugar, more sodium. Often has added spices
|Glazes, desserts, and savory applications
|Added ginger flavor notes
|Savory slow-cooked dishes
|Easy to find, good option for savory apricot recipes
|A sauce for desserts and savory dishes
|Flavor will vary depending on the fruit you choose
|Homemade apricot jam
|Any recipe that calls for apricot jam
|Perfect match for flavor and texture
Related reading: How to make homemade strawberry jam.
Apricot jam is a great choice for balancing out heavy savory dishes and for glazing fruit and baked goods. If you need a substitute then we suggest using either orange marmalade, apple jelly, duck sauce, ginger jelly, dried apricots, or canned fruit. Gelatin also works well as a glaze.
What recipe are you looking to use apricot jam in? Please let us know in the comments below.