If your jam mixture is still runny after the gel test, simmer a few minutes longer and try again. Just be careful: It's possible to overcook jam. If subjected to too much heat, pectin loses its setting power.
- 2½ pounds apricots, halved, pitted
- Two 1-pint canning jars or four 8-oz. canning jars with lids
Combine apricots, sugar, and Riesling in a large heavy pot, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let sit until apricots start to release their juices, 20–30 minutes.
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally at first and then more often as mixture thickens (as sugars concentrate, jam will be more likely to scorch), until most of the liquid evaporates and mixture is thickened, 30–40 minutes. To test for thickness, place a small dollop of jam on a chilled plate and chill 2 minutes. Drag your finger through: It should leave a clear path that doesn’t fill in. Divide between jars, cover, and chill.
Do Ahead: Jam can be made 2 months ahead. Keep chilled.
Nutritional ContentPer 1 Tbsp.: Calories (kcal) 35 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 8 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 8 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 0Reviews Section
Silky Amaretto Apricot Butter
Makes about 6 half-pint jars. Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
2 lb apricots, halved and pitted (about 24 medium), 6 pits reserved
1/2 cup water
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon amaretto
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roast the cleaned and dried pits on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Carefully crack pits with a hammer (a concrete surface is best here), and extract the kernel. Return kernels to the oven and roast for a 5 minutes more. Set aside.
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine apricots and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apricots are soft, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer apricot mixture to a food mill or a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy. Measure 6 cups of apricot purée.
In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine purée and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon. Stir in lemon juice and amaretto.
Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars, and lids.
Place one apricot kernel in the bottom of each jar. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot butter. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store.
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(Available in 3.5-ounce glass jars or 3.5-ounce resealable plastic bags)
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(Available in 2.25 or 2.4-ounce glass jars or 4-ounce resealable plastic bags)
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How to Can Apricot Jam
First gather your canning supplies.
Place a spoon in the freezer. (yes you will need a cold spoon later.)
Washing and peeling an apricot.
How to peel an apricot.
The next step is actually optional. Some folks leave peels on when making apricot jam… some take it off. It all depends on your preferred texture when the jam is done. I used to remove the skins but I don’t anymore. Now I leave it. But I do try to chop it up so there are not big chunks of peel.
If you want to remove the skins it is just like peeling peaches. Blanch your apricots to remove the skins. Dip apricots into a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. I use a blancher. Then remove the apricots to a sink or bowl with cold water or ice water. This stops the cooking. Slip the skins off. If your apricots are nice and ripe the skins will easily side off. If they are still a little green you may need to use a knife to help them along.
Now slice the apricots in half and remove the pit. When you have 2 quarts of apricots peeled and pitted, combine it with lemon juice and sugar in a large pot.
It sure looks like a lot of sugar…. uhm that’s because it IS a lot of sugar! Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Turn on the heat and bring to a boil. Stirring often to prevent scorching. Cook rapidly to the gelling point. I’ll use a potato masher to help mash up the fruit.
You can tell when the jam has reached the gelling point by taking your cold spoon and scooping up a bit of jam. The jam will cool quickly. Let it cool and tilt the spoon so the jam drips off. If it is still runny simply cook a bit longer. The jam should be thickened.
Another (probably easier) way to tell if you’re jam is ready is by temperature. First you’ll need to figure out the gelling point for your elevation.
Determine the boiling point temperature by holding a candy thermometer in boiling water. Add 8 degrees. This is your gelling point. This means it is the point where the jam will set up nicely! When your jam has reached this temperature it is ready. Remove it from the heat.
Pour hot jam into hot jars. Leave a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rims clean from any stickiness. If any jam is on the rims it may interfere with the lid sealing to the jar.
Place the lids on add your screw bands and process.
Process according to your elevation. This is for half-pints and pints. Quarts are not recommended.
0-6000 feet process 10 minutes
above 6000 feet process 15 minutes
Printable Recipe – Don’t forget to take a look at the canning tips on this page!
Are apricot kernels safe?
At one point we offered the option that you could take a hammer to the apricot pits to remove the outer husk and revel the inner noyaux or kernel. One of these kernels can be placed in each jar with the jam to add a slight almond flavor. (This kernel should be for flavoring only, and we do not recommend that you consume it.)
We have received many comments about the safety of apricot kernels, so we wanted to take a moment here to address the issue.
Sweet apricot kernels are often used in European baking and sweets-making. For example, crushed kernels are a key component in Italian Amaretti cookies.
There is some concern about the safety of consuming apricot kernels because they contain high levels of amygdalin, which contains cyanide. But, before you get scared away from amaretti cookies and using apricot kernels for flavoring, you should know that there are two different types of apricot kernels: sweet and bitter.
Sweet apricot kernels are sweeter in flavor and are significantly lower in amygdalin. These are the ones used in baked goods that would be consumed.
Bitter apricot kernels do contain enough amygdalin to be considered potentially toxic. Studies have shown that eating 30 bitter apricot kernels could cause cyanide poisoning (information from this SFGate article).
For more information about the difference between sweet and bitter apricot kernels, we found this article from Smart Kitchen to give a lot of good information.
As always, please use your best judgement. We feel that apricot kernels are safe if used only to add flavoring and not intended for consumption. You definitely won&rsquot find us munching down handfuls of kernels, sweet or bitter, for an afternoon snack.
Another jelly main event, this chile ginger jelly is super refreshing for hot days.
Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes.
How to make low sugar apricot jam:
To make this jam, start off with rinsing apricots under running water. This step is quite important especially when buying apricots that are not organic. Because we use the skins as well, you want to make sure you clean them thoroughly.
Next thing is cutting them in halves and getting rid of the stones. Now they are ready for jam making.
I simply throw them in a large pot (make sure you choose a wide bottom pot) add water and cook them on medium-high until they are mushy. At this stage it’s important to stir them almost constantly.
When the apricots turn into a mushy mixture, it’s time to reduce the heat to medium – low and also add sugar and lemon juice. It will take about 35-40 minutes for the jam to thicken but you don’t need to be stirring the apricot jam mixture constantly anymore.
I suggest stirring it from time to time. If you are not sure, then more often rather than less. Better be safe than sorry. It would be a waste ending up with burnt jam.
When ready, pour it into sterilized jars and cover with lids. Turn upside down and let them cool down completely.
To see if the jars are sealed properly you turn them back up and press down each lid. If the lid doesn’t pop up or down, the jar is perfectly sealed.
Mid-Summer Preserving Check-In
With just a few more days left in July, we’re now about halfway through the height of the summer preserving season. So far this year I’ve made jam from strawberries, plums, peaches, apricots, rhubarb and done some mixed fruit compotes. I’ve pickled asparagus, string beans, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, carrots and okra. I’ve canned peaches with vanilla bean and star anise, brewed some homemade syrups, made chutney and experimented with tomato jam. Over the weekend, I led a canning workshop in which we processed 58 quarts of whole tomatoes (I came home with several) and I finally pulled out the pressure canner and put up seven quarts of homemade stock.
I’ve learned a lot through all that canning. Here are some of the most useful things I’ve gleaned recently.
- A melon baller does a great job of extracting the pits from stone fruit (peaches, nectarines and plums).
- Sour cherries make the best jam ever and should be purchased whenever you find them at reasonable prices.
- Always cook jam in a larger pot than you think you need. It’s easier to scrub out a pot than it is to scour burnt sugar and fruit off your stove.
- Make sure to keep a couple of wooden spoons that are just used for jam, there’s nothing worse than stirring your strawberry jam with a spoon that smells like garlic or onions.
- Although I often preach that you don’t need to buy any special tools in order to can, having a jar lifter and wide-mouth funnel handy makes everything (at least in the world of home canning) easier.
- Measure everything out before you start.
- When it comes to canning peaches and whole tomatoes, pack ’em tight to avoid float.
- A mortar and pestle is great for breaking down berries for jam (just make sure it doesn’t smell like garlic).
- Taste what you’re making. Adjust your seasonings before committing food to jar.
- When using a pressure canner, make sure to put a bit of white vinegar in the water, otherwise you get ugly water marks on all your jars.
- Don’t be afraid to experience with new herbs and spices.
- Just about everything can be pickled.
- Making jam from the fruit you’ve picked with your own two hands is hugely satisfying (admittedly, I knew this one before, but I continually reaffirm it).
- It’s okay if you aren’t perfect as long as you follow good safety precautions (a good lesson for life in general).
- If the jam doesn’t set, call it sauce. No one will know or care.
- Pickles just keep on getting better.
Okay kids, now it’s your turn. I want to hear about what you’ve made so far, the mishaps and the things you’ve learned. What will you make again next year and what’s going into the blooper pile? How do you feel? What still scares you? Has canning changed how you approach the summer?
For two people who don’t eat a lot of jam, we sure have a lot of jam. And salsa. And pickles. And tomatoes. Yep, I can confidently say we went a little bit overboard with this whole canning thing.
I’m not going to post all of these recipes, because, frankly, I know many of you probably don’t can and could care less about canning. This is not a canning blog and I’m not going to bore you just because I’ve got a new hobby. However, for my own reference more than anything, I have to have a record somewhere of just what I made. Nothing would be worse than enjoying a jar of the best jam ever and not remembering which recipe I ended up using. And since this is a food blog, after all…
- Apricot Riesling Jam (Recipe from Simply Recipes)
- Apricot Amaretto Butter (Recipe posted 8/1)
- Peach Almond Preserves (Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Art of Preserving – Used skinned peaches and added almond extract)
- Peach Salsa (Recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)
- Peach Blackberry Coulis* (aka jam that didn’t quite set. This recipe, while tasty, needs a bit of work.)
- Red Pepper Jelly* (Adapted from Better than Store-Bought – will post recipe shortly)
- Sweet Basil Jelly (Recipe from Better than Store-Bought)
- Sweet Garlic Dill Pickles (Recipe from Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving)
- Canned Crushed Tomatoes (Recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)
- Southwest Salsa (Recipe from Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving)
- Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce (Recipe from Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving)
- Pear Ginger Preserves* (Recipe from Williams-Sonoma The Art of Preserving)
- Spiced Pear Preserves* (Basically a modification of the same recipe)
* I will be posting recipes for these couple, since they are recipes I either modified or are just worth sharing. The rest were followed pretty much word for word out of their respective books.
And yes, as if I didn’t have enough to do already, I designed labels. Don’t judge. It’s what I do. I waste time designing pretty things. Although I wish we had a better printer, I am in love with how these turned out. It makes the beauty of a batch of freshly canned jam that much more appealing.
The real question is, where on earth are we going to put all these jars?!