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Apricot Jam

You will love this classic recipe for Apricot Jam, made with sweet, ripe, juicy apricots at the height of their season. It is the ultimate way to preserve this delicious stone fruit to enjoy throughout the coming months. All you need are three ingredients to make this delicious jam: just fresh apricots, sugar and lemon juice - no pectin is required.
Course Condiment, Jam, Preserves
Cuisine International
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 12 250ml (8.5 oz) Jars
Calories 682kcal
Author Alexandra

Equipment

  • 12 x 250ml (8.5 oz) Jars

Ingredients

  • 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) fresh apricots See Notes 1 and 2
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice See Note 3
  • 1.8 kg (4 lb) granulated sugar See Note 4

Instructions

To Sterilise the Jars:

  • Preheat the oven to 130 Degrees C (270F).
    Use glass jars, either new or recycled, with an airtight, metal lid. If recycling jars, ensure that the jars do not have cracks or chips and the lids are in good condition. Discard any lids that are pitted or rusted. See Note 5.
    Wash the jars and lids. If washing by hand, use hot, soapy water and then rinse them well. Alternatively, wash them in the dishwasher.
    Place jars and lids on a baking tray. Heat in the oven for at least 20 minutes.

To Make the Jam:

  • Put 2 small heatproof plates or saucers in the freezer to chill. See Note 6.
  • Wash the apricots and pat dry. Remove any minor blemishes then cut them in half and remove the stones. 
  • Place the apricots in a large, wide saucepan and add the lemon juice and water. See Note 7.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon. See Note 8.
  • Cover the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until the apricots are tender and cooked through, 10-15 minutes. 
    At this stage, if you prefer less chunky jam, you could blend it using a hand-held stick blender. Take the saucepan off the heat to do this. 
  • Add the sugar to the apricots and stir constantly, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • After dissolving the sugar, increase the heat and bring the fruit to a boil to cook the liquid off. Continue to cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture does not catch and burn on the bottom of the pan.
    As the mixture reduces, stir frequently. At this stage, the jam requires your attention so do not venture too far away from the stove. Remove any scum that forms with a spoon.
  • When the jam looks thicker, after boiling for about 20 minutes, (See Note 9), turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on a chilled plate. Let it stand for a minute to cool then push your finger through the jam. If it wrinkles, even slightly, it is ready. If it is still quite liquid put it back on the heat for a further 5 minutes and check again.
  • You can also use a thermometer to check for setting point.  To use this method, you will need a sugar thermometer. Clip the thermometer to the side of your pan. When the thermometer reads 104 C (220 F) the jam is ready.
  • When the jam reaches setting point, remove the pan from the heat. If there is any scum on the surface of the jam, remove with a spoon or add a teaspoon of butter and stir well. It will dissolve the scum.
  • Let the jam stand for about 10 minutes to allow the fruit to settle. This will ensure that any pieces of fruit will be evenly distributed throughout the jam. Without standing, the fruit will rise to the top of the jar.
  • Stir the jam and carefully ladle it into the heated, sterilised jars. You need to be very careful. A splash or spill from hot jam would result in a serious burn. I recommend that you wear clothing with long sleeves. Additionally, this is not the occasion to have children nearby.
    Immediately seal the jars tightly with sterilised lids.
  • The jam will still be liquid when you ladle it into your jars. It can take up to 48 hours to completely set. See Note 10.
  • When cool, remove any spills from the jars and label with the date and name. Store the jam in a cool, dark place. 
    When using the jam, always use a clean, dry spoon to avoid contamination. After opening a jar, as a further precaution, store it in the refrigerator.

Video

Notes

  1. You can make jam with just a small quantity of fruit. If you use a smaller quantity of fruit the jam will set in a shorter cooking time.
  2. It is essential to use just ripe, or some slightly unripe, fruit. Choose fruit with great flavour. Bruised or over-ripe fruit is not suitable.  
  3. Fresh lemon juice not only balances the sweetness of the sugar, but it also helps the pectin to set the jam.
  4. Do not reduce the amount of sugar. The sugar not only sweetens the fruit, but it helps the jam to set and acts as a preservative. If you reduce the sugar, your jam may not be shelf-stable and may go mouldy.
  5. Properly sterilising your jars is an essential process to remove bacteria that could cause your preserves to spoil. Wash the jars and lids either in the dishwasher or by hand in hot soapy water, and rinse well. Do not dry them with a tea towel. Place jars and lids on a baking tray. If you are using Kilner jars with rubber seals, be sure to remove the seals before placing the jars in the oven. The dry heat of the oven would damage the seals. Boil the seals separately in a saucepan for about 10 minutes. Heat the jars in the oven for at least 20 minutes. When your preserves are ready to bottle, use thick oven mitts or jar tongs to remove the jars. Do not place them on a cold surface as they may shatter. I place mine on a wooden chopping board which I cover with a tea towel. Always sterilise a few more jars than you think you will need. It is better to have too many jars than not enough.
  6. The chilled plates are used to quickly cool the jam when testing the setting point.
  7. Always choose your widest saucepan that has enough height to enable the jam to boil vigorously. The fruit should not come more than halfway up the sides of the saucepan. More surface area means the liquid can evaporate faster and having sufficient height means you can boil the jam at a higher heat. Avoid aluminium, copper or iron pans; the acid in the fruit may react with the pan, giving the jam a metallic taste.
  8. To stir, use a long-handled wooden spoon. Metal will become dangerously hot. A long-handled spoon helps to keep your hand away from the boiling jam.
  9. The amount of time to reach setting point will vary depending on the amount of fruit, the size of your saucepan and the heat that you apply. However, if boiled too long the pectin may be destroyed and the jam may not set. 
  10. If your finished jam has not set as much as you would like, don’t worry, it will still be delicious stirred into some plain yoghurt or served over our No-churn Vanilla Ice Cream. Or, if it is slightly over-set and is very firm, it will be a lovely accompaniment on a cheese board.
  11. Please note, the nutritional information is based on one entire jar. The nutritional information is an estimate only. 

Nutrition

Calories: 682kcal | Carbohydrates: 173g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 169g | Vitamin A: 4013IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg