The apricots are so gorgeous right now I have to use them as much as I can. I made apricot tarts with some, and the remaining ripe apricots on my counter made it into the lovely little jam you see in the picture. I don’t make large quantities of jam for long term storage. I make enough for only a few jars to keep in the fridge for immediate consumption or give away to friends. You could follow the canning procedures to sterilize your jars for long term storage if you wish (see Wisconsin University Safe Food Preservation Series).
My jams are pretty simple: fruit, sugar and lemon juice. I rely on the natiural pectin in the fruit and sometimes add the pits for the special flavour and pectin they impart. In terms of quantities I go with equal weight of fruit to sugar give or take. If there is not enough sugar the jam will be more runny but still great for spreading on toasts. Who’s watching? For the jam in this recipe I used more fruit (1.5:1 fruit to sugar) and still liked the consistency. The Wisconsin article I referred to above recommends 8 cups apricots to 6 cups sugar. Suit yourself. Here is how I make it (yields about 6 small jam jars):
1 1/2 kg (about 3 lb) apricots, halved and pitted
A handful of apricot pits (about 10)
1 kg (about 2 lb) sugar
Juice if one small lemon
Combine apricots, sugar, pits and lemon juice in a large pot. Use a larger pot because it helps protect from splattering all over your stove. You can let the mixture sit for a while for the fruit to exude juices but I just put it on medium heat and begin cooking it, stirring frequently from the bottom to prevent it from sticking. Once the mixture comes to a boil reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook for about half an hour until it is thick and syrupy. It will thicken more when it cools.
Spoon the hot jam into clean jars, wipe any spills along the rim or sides with clean, hot wet cloth. See reference above if you want to follow canning procedures.
You can either add the pits to the jars or leave them behind. I add one pit per jar.
Screw on the lid and let cool on the counter.
Keep refrigerate. The recipe makes enough to fill about 6 small jam jars. Give a couple to your friends.
great thanks! why do you add the pits? does it help to preserve it longer? and how long will this last in the fridge please?
Hi Eleni, nice to hear from you. The pits add a slightly nutty, bitter flavour that actually enhances the flavour of the jam. It does not make it taste bitter. I hope you enjoy. It is one of my favourite summer jams. It will last a few months months in the fridge if closed tight but it usually gets consumed quickly.
Dina, you inspired me to whip up a small batch of apricot jam with the remainder of the case I bought at the farmer’s market on Saturday. I also added the zest of the lemon as well as the juice as I love citrus flavours with other fruits. Made 6 small & 6 large jars as I like your idea of giving some to friends. Growing up next to the Niagara fruit belt, I can’t tell you how many jars of fruit & vegetables I helped my mom process each year. Those were the days when you purchased everything in a bushel basket & you used those preserves all winter. You reminded me of how simple this process is for a tasty reward!
Hi Pat, good to hear from you. I like making preserves in small jars also because you don’t have a large open jar sitting in the fridge waiting to be finished. The lemon zest is a good idea and would taste good in the jam. The jam making “generation” worked so hard at preserving, I don’t know how they did it. It’s one thing whipping up a small jam recipe, and another to can for an entire year.