2 pounds ripe apricots
1/4 cup water
Small wedge fresh lemon
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 to 2 vanilla beans
Cut the apricots in half and remove the pits. Place apricot halves, water, the juice from the lemon, and the lemon rind itself in a large non-reactive pot. Stirring intermittently, cook over medium-high heat until the juices begin to boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the apricots are soft and tender, 5 to 10 minutes.
Once soft and tender, stir in the sugar. Split the vanilla beans down their length, scrape out the seeds, then add both the seeds and the pods to the pot. Increase the heat back up to high and bring to a rolling boil. Clip on a candy thermometer and continue to cook, while stirring, until the jam thickens and reaches about 220°F.
Carefully remove the vanilla bean pods and lemon rind. Ladle the jam into clean 4-ounce, half-pint, or pint-sized glass jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.