When apricot season reaches its peak, stores are practically giving them away. This is your chance to buy in bulk and make homemade apricot jam out of it. I’m not sure if it’s a big money maker, but it’s definitely better and it’s fun to do yourself.
You will quickly learn to make your own batch of fresh jam. The good news is that apricots are much easier to pry than other fruits and you don’t have to worry about peeling them. The whole process takes about two hours from start to finish.
How to make apricot jam
Apricot jam is easy to make at home.
Preparation time : Fifteen minutes. Cooking time: 45 minutes. Second kitchen: One hour yield: 5 pints
Disclaimer : Use extreme caution during the cooking and shaking phases of this recipe. The liquid sticks to the skin and causes severe burns. We strongly recommend that you service the appliance when young children are not present.
- 2 pints (8 cups) apricots
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 7 cups white sugar
- 5 cans (1 pint each)
- Cut the apricots in half and remove the seeds. Use a paring knife to remove stains or bruises.
- Wash the jars and lids and sterilize them by boiling them in a water bath; leave the jars and lids in the bath until the jam is ready.
- Place apricots in a large saucepan with lemon juice and sugar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook about 25 minutes, until apricots are thickened. While cooking, use a spoon to skim off the white foam that rises to the top.
- Use a ladle to carefully pour the jam into the jar, leaving a small space (about ¼ inch) at the top of the jar. Use a knife to remove air bubbles by twisting them in the pot. Quickly wipe the jars to remove any spilled jam, then replace the lids.
- Use a large pot, place a grill on top, and fill it with water to about half capacity. Bring the water to a boil, then bring to a simmer and use a glass holder to gently lower the jars into the water so they don’t touch. Add boiling water as needed until the water is just above the top of the jars. Place the lid on the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and place the jars on a fabric-covered bench.
- Allow jars to cool before storing in a cool, dark place, such as a utility room or kitchen cabinet.
This is what the process looks like from start to finish. We picked our own fruit
Jam: from the tree to the jar.
Tips for a perfect apricot jam
Use the best apricots: Unlike banana bread, which derives its amazing flavor from overripe fruit, apricots, which are used for jam, should not overripe. Use firm apricots with a small indentation, not soft apricots.
Removing irregularities : Pressure spots and sun spots should be removed from the fruit before cooking. Apricot skins are very thin, so you don’t need to peel them, but you can remove them if you like.
Select the best cooking program : Choose as wide a pan as possible, as the larger surface area allows the liquid to evaporate more quickly.
Experiment with the ingredients: The amount of sugar can be adjusted as needed. Traditional jams use a ratio of about 1:1 between sugar and apricots. For the low-sugar, low-calorie version, reduce the sugar a bit. But remember that it plays a role in flavoring jam and preventing mold, so don’t overdo it.
Set the amount: This recipe also works with fewer apricots; remember to reduce the amount of sugar and water proportionally.
Be flexible: If you find that the finished jam is very firm and well worked, it can be used in a cheese dish, just like guava paste. If you have too much raw jam, mix it with yogurt at breakfast, pour it over ice cream, or boil it down in a pan to make a decadent sauce.
Storage of apricot jam
Store apricot jam in a cool, dark place, for example in the pantry or kitchen cupboard, for up to one year. Always check the cap for mold when opening.
If you have any jam left at the end of the stirring process, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or you could freeze it for a year.
Recommended uses for apricot jam
- Slice the camembert and cook until the cheese is sticky. A salty-sweet combination, on crackers, to die for.
- For breakfast or as a morning snack on scones, toast or muffins.
- Try recipes for ice cream, puddings or desserts that take advantage of the sweetness.
- Make a delicious crostata with apricot jam (Crostata di Marmellata).
- The best pancakes or waffles with jam and whipped cream for a decadent treat.
Lightly breaded apricot jam on toast
- Apricot jam can be heated in the microwave until runny, then spread over the cake to make an excellent glaze.
- Apricots are low in pectin, so you’ll need to cook them longer than most other fruits.
- The longer the jam is cooked, the thicker and denser it becomes. The longer you cook them, the less jam you have.
Should I use pectin to make apricot jam?
Pectin is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in the skin and pulp. During cooking, pectin is useful to bind the mixture into a gel. Apricots have a low pectin content, which means you need to cook them longer than apples or plums. Without adding a jam firming agent (pectin), the result is a perfectly tasty jam, but probably not as thick as store-bought jam. If this is a problem for you, simply add a bag of pectin, which you can often find in the baking section of grocery stores.
Making apricot jam, like any other DIY kitchen project, is extremely rewarding and simple. Whatever the end product, it will always be delicious in the kitchen.
While it may be tempting to skip the step of sterilizing pots, don’t – foodborne illnesses are not pretty. You can also make this jam when the little ones are not around. Jam is relentless when it comes to burns, so prevention is better than cure.
What’s your favorite jam? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it to our growing collection of recipes.
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