Creator of Bonnie’s Jams shares her favorite recipe for apricot jam.
Makes six 8 oz. jars
Making a simple basic jam is much easier than people think. Today so many of us go to local farmers’ markets. And many more people are interested in learning to make jam with jam classes taking place all summer in most parts of the country. A renewed understanding of healthy production and products, has sparked a new interest in jams as they used to be—made without pectin and just a little sugar. In fact all you need to make a very delicious jam are three ingredients: good fruit, sugar, and lemon juice.
I suggest setting aside a week every summer to gather fruits and make some jam. Go to the local farmers market or travel out to the countryside. Make as many jars as you can that week with the long-range plan to make dishes with the preserves when the cold weather hits or when you simply have time to enjoy a great meal in your own home. Once packed in jars, jams last for two to three years in a cool dark place, though mine never last long enough to store.
Here is a classic recipe for apricot jam. On various occasions, I have added crushed orange, a vanilla bean, or candied ginger near the end of the cooking time. Use the basic recipe or feel free to come up with a variation of your own.
6 cups cut up fresh apricots (2½ pounds pitted apricots)
3 cups sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
Place a small plate in the freezer to use later to test the gel of the jam.
Put the apricots and sugar in a 10-quart heavy-bottomed pan, bring to a boil, and continue cooking at a slow boil over a medium-high flame, mixing often to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The jam will begin to foam and when the foam begins to disappear the jam is almost ready. This will take about 30 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and continue cooking for 5 minutes more. Test the jam by dropping a small amount on the cold plate and pushing the jam with your finger. If it wrinkles, it is done. If not, continue cooking until the jam passes the wrinkle test on the chilled plate.
Pour immediately into clean jars leaving ¼ inch of space at the top. Seal jars with new lids that have a sealable lining.
Turn jar upside down for a few minutes to sterilize the lid. Turn right side up and let cool. Apply labels and store the jars in a cool dark place.