Apricot is a citrus fruit which is classified with plums in the subgenus Prunus. This fruit is enjoyed fresh when in season (summers), and can also be canned as jam and marmalade for off season use. Making and canning apricot jam at home is really easy.
Apricots - 5 pints
Lemon juice - ¼ cup
Water - ½ cup
Dry granulated sugar - 4.5 cups
The first step is to get the fruit.
If you have home grown apricot trees, go and pick fresh fruit; otherwise, buy them from the local grocer.
You can also use frozen apricots for jam making.
Put the fruit in a large colander and run cold water over the fruit.
Gently run your hands through the fruit. Pick out and remove mushy fruit, if any, as well as bits of stems and leaves.
Then, drain off excess water and transfer the fruit to a large pot.
Apricots have a very thin skin so you don’t need to remove it.
Simply remove the pits from the apricots and slice them using a sharp knife.
Put the apricot slices in a large bowl and mash them slightly with the help of a fork.
To keep the fruit from turning brown, sprinkle ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice over the apricot slices and stir the fruit thoroughly to make sure all the surfaces have been properly coated with the juice.
Add 2 cups of granulated sugar to the fruit.
Also stir the pectin into the apricots and put the entire mixture in a big saucepan.
Set the saucepan on the stove over medium high heat and bring the mixture to a full boil (8 to 10 minutes).
Once the fruit and pectin mix has reached a full boil, stir in the remaining sugar and bring it back up to a boil.
Allow the fruit to boil hard for 1 to 2 minutes.
Then, reduce the heat and allow it all to simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the fruit mixture becomes soft and thick.
To check if your jam is ready to be removed from the heat, pour one tablespoon of the mixture onto a chilled metal spoon.
If it thickens up to the desired consistency, remove it from the heat; otherwise, add a little more pectin to the jam mixture and bring it up to a boil for another couple of minutes.
Your homemade apricot jam is now ready; ladle it into sterilized jars, leaving a headspace of ¼ inch.
Screw on the lids and tighten the ring around them.
Put the jam filled jars into a boiling water canner and allow them to boil for 5 minutes.
Remove the jars from the water canner and allow them to cool completely, before storing them in the refrigerator.