Apricot Sauce Recipe

Apricot Sauce in glass jars

The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 64 servings
Yield: 4 1/2-pint jars
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
24 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 64
Amount per serving
Calories 24
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 59mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 43mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Renee Pottle is an author, Family and Consumer Scientist, and Master Food Preserver. She writes about canning, baking, and real food at SeedtoPantry.com.

Since moving to Northwest, an area where stone-fruit trees flourish, I have taken advantage of the all-too-brief apricot season. Each year I put up jars of apricot jams, apricot syrup, and this savory, Asian-inspired apricot sauce.

Apricot sauce is a tangy, sweet-sour sauce similar to the plum sauce that comes with every Chinese restaurant meal. I have no idea if Chinese home cooks sometimes substitute apricots for the plums, but it’s likely since apricots grow quite nicely in China. 

My apricot sauce was due to desperation. One year, in my enthusiasm for all things fresh and sweet, I purchased a 40-pound box of fresh apricots. Believe me, 40 pounds is a lot of apricots. So I canned apricot halves, apricot jam, and apricot syrup. I made apricot paste, apricot leather and dried apricot pieces for fruitcake. I ate lots and lots of fresh apricots, and still had plenty of apricots sitting on the counter, slowly getting softer and softer. Most of the remaining apricots suffered from sun scald which affected their beauty, but not their taste. They were too large, too ripe, and had too many scars to can. Creativity was called for, which led to this savory sauce, adapted from a recipe found in the "Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving."

Although the 40-pounds all-at-once blunder hasn’t been repeated, I do still purchase in bulk and make at least one batch of apricot sauce every summer. Use Asian apricot sauce as you would any savory plum sauce. Spoon it over dumplings or wontons, serve it with pork or chicken, or use it as a base for homemade BBQ sauce or stir-fry sauce.

Apricot’s natural tanginess shines through here, turning a traditional sweet-sour condiment into something with a more complex flavor. Once you start making savory apricot sauce, you may never return to everyday plum sauce again. 

This recipe can also be doubled, although the cooking time will increase. 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh apricots

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Apricot Sauce ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  2. Prepare a water bath canner and 4 (1/2-pint) canning jars.

    Canning jars prepared in a pot with water

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  3. Halve, pit and chop the apricots. 

    Apricot pieces on a wooden cutting board, next to a knife

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  4. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.

    Apricot Sauce sauce ingredients in a pan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat.

    Apricot Sauce cooking in a pan on a burner, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  6. Cook until thick, with a syrup-like consistency. This will take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

    Apricot Sauce in a pan on a burner, and Apricot Sauce on a wooden spoon on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  7. If desired, purée the sauce using an immersion blender. 

    Apricot Sauce in a pan on a burner and an immersion blender on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  8. Ladle into hot, clean jars leaving about 1/4-inch head space.

    Apricot Sauce in glass jars and a ladle on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

  9. Top with the 2-piece lids and rings, and process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. 

    Apricot Sauce in jars in a water bath canner

    The Spruce Eats / Qi Ai

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.