This is one of the easiest jams to make (and they are all easy!). You simply remove the pits, and finely chop the apricot meat. No need to peel. Apricot jam is wonderful served on toast and in crepes. It also creates an amazing glossy finish to a fresh fruit tart, or fruit topping on a cake. You simply reheat the jam until liquid, then brush or spoon it over the fresh fruits and let cool. You will have a spectacular and beautiful presentation – people will ask if you got your dessert from the local French bakery!
Again, don’t be afraid of mistakes. They will always happen, and you will be a little wiser each time you go through the process.
This recipe makes about fourteen 8-ounce jars of jam.
• 5-1/4 pounds of fresh apricots, to yield 7-1/2 cups of pitted, chopped fruit
• 3/8 cup lemon juice
• 10-1/2 cups sugar
• 1 package of Sure-Jell pectin
• 1 tsp butter to prevent foaming
• at least 14 half-pint canning jars (8-ounce) with two-piece lids
• 6 or 8 quart cook pot
• very large pot for sterilizing the jars
• heavy-duty rubber gloves
• A jar grabber if you don’t have heavy-duty rubber gloves
• clean paper towels cut into small squares
Pit the apricots, then finely chop the apricot meat. Measure out 7-1/2 cups of the chopped fruit to use in the recipe. If you have any extra, simmer in a bit of sugar until cooked, then enjoy over ice cream or in a bowl with fresh cream.
Sterilize your equipment.
Lids: Fill a small pan with hot water and put both parts of the screwcaps into it – the threaded caps and the flat lids that have the rubber seal. Simmer gently (do not boil) for at least 10 minutes.
Jars: Wash them, fill a very large pot with hot water and immerse the jars in it. Cover the pot with a lid, bring the water to a boil, and simmer the jars in the water for at least ten minutes. Keep jars in the water until ready to use.
Measure out the sugar into a separate bowl and set aside.
Put 7-1/2 cups of chopped apricots and the lemon juice in a large pot, about three times larger than your ingredients will fill. Stir in 1 package of pectin. Add 1 teaspoon of butter to prevent foaming. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Once it comes to a full rolling boil – one that you can’t stir down – pour in all the sugar at once, while stirring.
Bring back to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
At this time, remove the jars and rings and lids from their simmering water. Drain on a clean cloth and have them ready to fill.
Boil and stir the mixture for exactly one minute. Remove from heat and quickly ladle into the hot jars, filling them to within ¼ inch from the top. Wipe jar rims and threads with the little squares of paper towel, dampened, and seal with a two-piece lid. Screw the lids down as tight as you can.
Process in water bath: Submerge the filled jars in a large pot of hot water. Place a metal rack on the bottom of the pan, or a small towel. You just need to make sure there is a barrier between the glass jars and the metal bottom of the pot so the jars don’t break. Bring to a moderate boil (DO NOT put the filled jars into a pot of boiling water or they will break). Once the water comes to a boil, allow to cook 15 minutes for half-pints. Remove and place on a towel until cool.
Customize your jars with Evermine label styles of your choice, adding your photos and words, and choosing your colors and font styles. Now you get to enjoy eating and giving away your amazing apricot jam!