Apricot jam is a delicious type of preserve that tastes great on bread, toast, crackers, and even ice cream. Because making jam is a way of preserving apricots, it’s a great way to save fresh fruit for the winter, but you can also use frozen fruit to make jam. Most jams require plenty of sugar and lemon juice to help the fruit set, because the sugar and acidity help to draw out the fruit’s natural pectin.
Gather your ingredients and supplies.
There are a few of things you will need to make apricot jam. Along with your ingredients, you’ll also need:
Five pint-sized mason jars or 10 half-pint jars with lids and rings
Large canning pot with lid and canning rack
Large roasting pan
A lint-free towel
Prepare your water bath.
Place the canning rack into the bottom of your canning pot. Fill it with enough water so that it will cover the filled jam jars with an extra one to two inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of water. Put on the lid, turn the heat on high, and bring the water to a boil.
Once the jam is ready and has been put into jars, you will have to boil the filled jars in a water bath to sterilize everything and kill bacteria. This will help to preserve the jam longer.
Clean and heat the jars.
Clean the jars, lids, and rings with hot, soapy water. You can also run the jars through the dishwasher, but the lids and rings should be hand-washed. Rinse the jars, lids, and rings and set them on a clean drying rack.
Preheat your oven to 150 F (65 C). Place the jars in the roasting pan and into the oven. It’s not necessary to sterilize your jars before canning, but they should be warm to prevent them from cracking when the hot jam is introduced. Leave the jars in the oven until you’re ready to pour the jam.
Be sure to use new lids every time you can food. The lids are only designed to be used once, and may not seal properly if they’re reused.
Wash, pit, and dice the fruit.
Run cold water over the apricots and rub them with your hands to remove dirt, debris, stems, and leaves. Pat the fruit dry with a clean towel. To pit and dice the fruit:
Cut the apricots in half, being careful of the pit in the center. Pull the halves apart and remove the pit.
Cut the apricots into half-inch (1.25 cm) cubes.
Apricots have a very thin skin, so they don’t have to be peeled for jam.
Combine the ingredients.
Place the apricots into the stockpot and cover them with the sugar and lemon juice. Give the mixture a stir to combine everything.
The acidity in the lemon juice will help kill bacteria, keeping the jam from spoiling and free of mold.
For a jam with some added spice, add 1 tablespoon (a ¼ inch cube) of freshly grated ginger to the pot as well.
To make a jam with less added sugar, you can use as few as 4 cups (900 g) of sugar with this recipe.
Heat the fruit.
Place the stockpot on the stove and heat it over medium–high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. The heat will also help the acidity in the lemon juice to draw pectin from the fruit, which gives the jam it’s gel-like consistency.
Stir the mixture occasionally so that the fruit doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Monitor the temperature with a thermometer.
Once the fruit comes to a boil and starts to get bubbly and foamy, stick the candy thermometer into the pot, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom.
After the mixture boils, stir it frequently to prevent the jam from burning.
When the jam gets to 220 F (104 C), turn off the heat and remove the pot. At this temperature, the water from the fruit has boiled off and the jam will become thick.
Skim off the foam before pouring.
During the cooking process, a foam will have formed on the top of the jam. Use a spoon to skim off this top layer.
Once the foam is gone, you can immediately pour the jam into the prepared canning jars.
Remove the jars from the oven.
Use the oven mitts to protect your hands from the heat and remove one jar at a time from the oven.
You will fill and lid one jar at a time, leaving the other jars in the oven to stay warm as you’re working.
As you’re filling, it’s important to work as quickly as possible without burning yourself, because the jam must stay hot.
Fill the jars.
Use the ladle to fill each jar with jam, leaving about ¼ inch (0.63 cm) of space between the jam and the top of the jar.
Take your lint-free towel or paper towel and get it damp with warm water. Clean any spilled jam from around the rim and threads of the jar. This will ensure a proper seal.
Center a lid over the jam, and then screw on the ring. Set the jar aside. Repeat until the jam is gone and all the jars have been filled.
Heat the jars in the water bath.
Use the canning tongs to place the filled and lidded jars one at a time into the boiling water in the canning pot. When all the jars are positioned upright on the canning rack, return the lid to the pot and return the water to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, set a timer for 10 minutes. Because the jars weren’t pre-sterilized, you must boil them for at least 10 minutes to ensure the jam and jars are properly sterilized.
Add an additional minute of boiling time for every 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level you are. For instance, if you live 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level, boil the jars in the water bath for 11 minutes.
Remove the jars from the water.
When your boiling time is up, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for five minutes. Use the canning tongs to remove the jars from the pot, keeping the jars upright at all times.
Place the jars onto the dry towel, leaving at least one inch of room between the jars.
Allow the jars to cool.
Leave the jars on the towel to cool for 12 to 24 hours. After that time, test the seal on each jar. To test the seal:
Unscrew the ring from the jar. Press your finger against the lid and try to move it around. If it doesn’t budge, a good seal has been formed. Return the ring to the jar, wipe the jar and lid with a towel, and label the jar so you know what it is.
If any lids didn’t form proper seals, you can either place them in a new water bath for another 10 minutes, or put the jars in the fridge for immediate use.
Homemade jam that’s unopened will last for one to two years in the pantry, and then another six months to a year in the refrigerator once it’s opened.