Of all the flavors of jam I have tried (a lot!) my favorite has to be apricot. I could eat it on warm toast all day. If I did, my body shape would resemble an apricot, all that holds me back.
Buying apricot jam can get expensive, perhaps because apricots are a costly fruit. I have not seen fresh apricots recently offered in season for less than $3 a pound here in central Maine. The price may be due to our location. In sunny, warm places where apricots grow they are probably cheap, although the price of the jam does not reflect that.
I finally decided to try my hand at making apricot jam. Maybe I could save a little money. To me, homemade jam always tastes better than commercial. The ingredients are limited to fruit, sugar and pectin unlike what line many store shelves. Small batches made at home seem more flavorful. This suggested eating handmade apricot jam would be like tasting heaven. I could hardly wait to get started!
Chilean apricots are in season now so I picked up three pounds at the supermarket. Apricots must be thoroughly cleaned for jam since the fuzzy skin is also used. This recipe has been adapted to my tastes from the one that comes with the pectin.
2.5 to 3 lbs fresh apricots to equal 6 cups chopped fruit
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup water
1 box reduced sugar fruit pectin
4.5 cups sugar
Rinse well, pit and chop apricots with skins (do not peel.) I coarsely chop to pieces 1/4″-1/2″. Place in large (8 quart) heavy bottomed saucepan with the water. Sprinkle the fruit with the lemon juice. Thoroughly mix the powdered pectin with 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir into the fruit. Cover, bring to a simmer on low-medium heat and then cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently so it does not burn.
Uncover and bring heat to high, stirring fruit constantly until the boil can not be stirred down. Add the remaining sugar. Return the mix to a boil, stirring, and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and skim any foam with a metal spoon.
Have 7 cups worth of hot, sterilized glass canning jars ready. Ladle the jam into the jars, cover and process in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes. Cool away from drafts and assure the jars have sealed before storing.
Makes about 7 cups. Yum!