Chop and stone the fruit, but don’t discard the stones as they are full of flavour.
Place the stones on a chopping board and with the flat side of a heavy knife really press down on them to break open the shells. Inside you will find the kernel of the fruit which holds great flavour. Tie up these kernals in a little piece of muslin so they don’t get to roam free within the jam and cause a dental hazard at a later date and then toss the little muslin packet into your jam pan with the rest of the ingredients when you start your cooking process.
I like to let my apricots soak up the sugar and lavender before I cook them, this is very much the French way of preserving and it allows the sugar to draw out all the juice and flavour from the fruit. If you have time let the fruit, lavender and sugar sit in a bowl or pan overnight just covered with a clean tea towel. Make sure you have just used the tiny buds of the lavender and not the whole stalks. Do not be tempted to add more and more lavender as this delicate little flower packs a bit of a punch in the flavour department and a little goes a long way. Overdo it and you could end up with something too heavily fragranced and flavoured that smells more suitable for the bathroom than the kitchen table!
Next day add the lemon zest and juice and slowly heat your fruit mixture along with the little muslin bag of kernals.
The sugar will dissolve quite quickly as it has been soaking in the fruit juices overnight.
Keep the jam on a moderate heat until the apricots are tender and then raise the temperature to a hard boil until you have reached the setting point. Use a thermometer or a chilled saucer to check the set. See my Jam making page for full information on this.
Remove pan from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes to settle before carefully spooning into sterilised jars.
You should get 4 medium sized jars from this recipe.