Sunday, January 20, 2013

Toast Topper #16: Grandma's Mock Apricot Jam (Retro #SundaySupper)

I love my collection of old cookbooks and recipe cards.The recipe cards in particular, because each author's script is so unique and telling about who they could have been like. Some of them are old and worn almost to the point of being illegible, but when you can make out the words you can see that they are carefully crafted in a way that only someone who loved to make the dish could do. Other cards are typed (on a typewriter) on yellowed index cards, which to me look like they could have been stolen from the steno office my grandmother used to work at. Then there are those that aren't "cards" as much as newspaper and magazine clippings, occasionally scrawled on and almost always stained, and the recipes that came from various churches, government agencies and businesses. While most recipes are nowhere near today's definition of "healthy" - filled with lard, cream, butter, meat and sugar - and some of them I would never dream of touching to my lips (1917's tripe fricasee? Solomon Gundy from the Maritimes?), but holding one of those cards is effectively touching history and it's fascinating enough to keep me hounding relatives for their old files.

In one of the old collections my grandma gave to me over the years was a collection of "War Staples", all items that were intended to replace expensive "luxury" items in the grocery store by engineering the flavours of cheap, government-subsidized rations. There were a lot of carrot and potato recipes courtesy of the Ministry of Food's agenda, and this jam is no exception. Along with carrots, the recipe uses apples (which could be bruised) and rhubarb, which was (and is) a staple in many gardens. The note on the card declares the resulting mixture "tastes and looks like the most expensive apricot jam" and having never actually had apricot jam other than as a tart glaze I can only vouch that it does in fact taste like apricots, but the texture is more of a "butter" than a "jam". Either way, it is a cheap(ish) and fun project that you can do to re-capture that glimmer of historical whimsy, and get a Toast Topper out of it too!

Mock Apricot Jam

This week's #SundaySupper is all about taking those retro recipes we grew up and loved and sharing them with the current generation. For many of us, these food memories take us back in time. Some of us enjoyed them so much that we will never change the recipe, but others are raring to reinvent their favourites. Here's what's on the family table:

Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:

Sunday Supper Retro Salads:

Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:

SundaySupper Main Dishes:

Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:

Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:
Wow - I may have never tasted this jam from the hands of Grandma, but in fact I did the reverse - a small jar of ye olde Mock Apricot Jam (modernized slightly for ease - forget the food mill, hello blender!) was tucked into her Christmas stocking!

Which one is your favorite?

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

Grandma's Mock Apricot Jam
Makes 4 cups, 32 (2-tbsp) servings
6 apples, peeled, cored and chopped (reserve peels and cores)
6 large carrots, chopped
1 lb rhubarb, chopped
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 cup water
1/4 tsp almond extract
  1. In a large pot, place apple peels and cores and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook 40-50 minutes, until falling apart and looking like very fluid applesauce.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour the hot mixture into a cheesecloth set over a bowl.
  4. Allow the liquid to drip through completely, pressing on the fruit to extract the liquid. Set aside.
  5. In a large pot, place apple pieces, carrots, rhubarb, sugars, lemon zest and water. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid from the apple peels and cores.
  6. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. 
  7. Ladle carefully into a blender and puree (or pass through a food mill back into the pot) and add extract. 
  8. Fill jars and seal.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 62.8
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 10.0 mg
Total Carbs: 16.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 0.2 g


  1. Such a fun recipe :) I would also pass on the tripe

  2. This is such a fun recipe! I like those "mock" ones that don't actually include the ingredient, but somehow taste like it. Really cool.

  3. I love apple jam and I am sure this version with apricot is tasted great!

  4. How great you have such a collection of old recipes. Reading through them must be so much fun.

  5. Oh Yummy! I would love to top my toast with this jam every morning!

  6. Whether it tastes like apricots or not, it sounds delicious!

  7. This is a fun project! I would love a look-see at your vintage recipe card collection. Sounds awesome!

  8. I LOVE looking through old recipe books, especially from the Depression and WWII. I think what strikes me the most is the minimal ingredients used to create meals. In a lot of ways I think we would do better by ourselves to move towards that more minimal style!

  9. Oh this sounds like fun! I love old recipes, especially ones from WWII and the Great Depression. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for the feedback!