Apricot Jam

This is by far my favorite jam. This is one that reminds me of being a kid. It also helps that my kids love it. Apricots are the kick off to canning season for me. They are  one of the first fruits that I buy for the year to make jam. I start off with a 25lb box of apricots.

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If you have freezer space, buying in bulk is the best way to buy your fruit. I end up spending a lot of time processing and freezing fruit to make jams and jellies throughout the year. Wash and remove the stones and then I put them for a spin in the food processor. This is just one of the many ways you can do this. I prefer not having big chunks of fruit in my jam.

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I always freeze the apricots in gallon bags, in the amount needed for your recipe. I also have a little trick that I use to fill the bags with one person.  I use a tall container with the bag folded over the top, creating a one man show.

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Always label, date and put quantity on out side of bag. In December this  will eliminate the head scratching, staring off into no where questioning if you put four cups or five in the bag. Now for the fun part. Making your jam.

8 1/2 pint jars

Ingredients:

5 1/3 cups apricots

6 TBLS Ball Classic Pectin

6 2/3 cups granulated sugar

It make life so much better to make sure that you get everything that you need before you start. Lids, rings, jars, sugar measured out, pectin measured out, funnel, jar and lid lifter.

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measuring cup, rings, lids, lid lifter, jar lifter, funnel, bubble remover (aka kids ikea knife) spatula.

measuring cup, rings, lids, lid lifter, jar lifter, funnel, bubble remover (aka kids ikea knife) spatula.

Prepare your water bath canner ( pressure canner), jars and lids. All instructions for making jam should include the process of sterilizing the jars. Place jars in canner, fill to at least an inch over jars, bring to a boil, let jars boil for ten minutes. I take them out right before I start my jam, and then line them up for easy filling.  Also take your lids and place them in a small sauce pan and cover with water. Put on a low heat to get the seals warm.

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Add pectin and butter after fruit has fully melted

Add pectin and butter after fruit has fully melted

In an eight quart sauce pan combine you fruit and lemon juice (if required). Gradually stir in pectin. It is said that if you add a tsp of butter that it reduces foaming, I am of the opinion that butter makes everything better, so I add it regardless. Make sure your measured out sugar is close at hand.  Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down over high heat.

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At this time add the sugar, stir to dissolve. return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove for heat.  Skim foam if necessary.

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This is the spoon test. this is what it should look like.

This is the spoon test. this is what it should look like.

Fill your jars to within 1/4 inch of the top jars. Clean the rims of your jars with a wet wash cloth. Center the lids on jars, and put bands on making sure you do not move lids and only tighten fingertip tight. They will not seal correctly if you man handle them. Place all jars in canner using your jar lifter. Make sure the jars are covered by at least one to two inches of water. Place lid on canner. Bring water to a gentle boil. Process for ten minute and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minute before you remove top of canner. Always lift canner lid away from you. Remove the jars and let cool. Then wait for the best sound in the world, the pop of the lids sealing. Check all jars after 24 hours for a proper seal. Lids should not flex up and down when the center is pressed. Remove bands, clean jars and store.

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There is also reduced sugar pectin, and other brands of pectin. I use Ball pectin because I can usually find it fairly inexpensive and it works. On Ball’s web site there is also measurements for small/ lager batches. You can also find other recipes on USDA’s web site.

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