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Making Apricot Jam

Instructions for making your own apricot jam

Making Apricot Jam

preserving | fruits | grow your own | recipes

In our article Making Jam we introduced the key methods behind making your own jam. In this article we will look at the specifics of making delicious apricot jam.

A box of fresh apricots for jam making

In the UK apricots tend to be very expensive - for example £2 for a punnet of around six fruits from the supermarket. However, during the apricot season it is possible to purchase a whole box of 3-5 kg of very ripe apricots (which would be difficult to sell individually) for around the same price. Apricot jam is a great way to use these inexpensive fruits and preserve them so that they can be enjoyed for months to come.

Apricot Jam

For the most delicious jam, slightly under-ripe firm apricots are best, but it is still possible to make lovely apricot jam with riper fruit - it will just not taste quite as tart.

For each cup of chopped apricots you will need 3/4 of a cup of sugar, and around 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice. The only other ingredient is pectin which should be added according to the instructions printed on the pectin packet.

Drop apricots into boiling water to make peeling easy - making apricot jam

Wash the fruit very well, and discard any leaves and stems also any fruit which show signs of rotting or which are very mushy. Many people peel the skins from the apricots before making jam since the skin can be quite thick and not very digestible, however, you do not have to peel them. If you do decide to peel, just drop the fruit into boiling water for around a minute and then remove and drop them into a bowl of icy cold water. The skins can then just be pulled off.

Chopped apricots ready to be boiled up to make apricot jam

Now cut the apricots in half to remove the stones (pits) and set those to one side for later. Chop the apricots up into small pieces discarding any mushy or brown bits which you missed when you selected the fruit to use. Pour the lemon juice over the chopped apricots and stir them well so that the fruit do not start to turn brown.

Use a hammer to smash the apricot stones. Inside you will find apricot kernels which look quite like small almonds. When you pour the jam into the jars later, simply drop one well washed apricot kernal into each empty jar before pouring in the jam. The kernals will add a hint of almondy flavour to the jam.

Smash the apricot stones to extract the nuts for use in apricot jam

Mix the pectin with 1/4 cup sugar (to help distribute the pectin throughout the fruit) and sprinkle it over the chopped apricots in a large pan. Bring the apricots to the boil over a high heat stirring frequently to ensure no fruit sticks to the bottom of the pan. When the fruit is boiling, add in the rest of the sugar, and heat slowly stirring constantly until the sugar has all dissolved. The turn up the heat and keep stirring until the jam reaches the setting point (cool a smear of the mixture on the back of a spoon you have kept in iced water and see if the jam sets).

Fill the sterilised jars with the hot jam straight from the pan, fit the lids, and store in a cool dark place.

Article Published: 16:44, 26th Jul 2011

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