"Preserves" are the result of a fruit that has been cooked with sugar and, usually, pectin, into a jam-like consistency with large to medium pieces of fruit still intact. Apricot preserves are prepared in this manner, and are often used to glaze tarts and as additions in other desserts. They can also be added as a sweet element to savory dishes, namely involving poultry, pork or fish.
To make an apricot glaze for tarts or other pastries: heat the preserves gently in a small saucepan and strain out the solids. Brush the glaze onto the pastry to give it a shiny, golden finish.