This recipe yields a very chunky, rustic jam that relies entirely on the fruit's natural pectin, in concert with sugar, lemon juice, and heat, to set perfectly. This jam works well with Blenheim apricots, or any other small, freestone apricot (apricots that have pits that pop out easily, rather than clinging to the flesh). If you have particularly firm or large apricots, or you would just like a jam with a more refined texture, feel free to macerate the apricot halves in the sugar at room temperature overnight before proceeding with the recipe.
Why this recipe works:
- The quantity of sugar in this recipe has been carefully calculated based on the natural pectin levels of firm-but-ripe apricots.
- Fresh lemon juice not only adds tart flavor to balance the sugar, but also helps the fruit's pectin set into a perfect jam texture.
6 pounds firm-but-ripe freestone apricots, such as Blenheims, halved and pitted
2 pounds 10 ounces granulated sugar
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice from 3 lemons
In a large stainless steel or glass mixing bowl, combine apricots, sugar, and 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) lemon juice and mix until all the sugar is moistened; if some sugar remains dry, allow to macerate until fruit has released enough juices to moisten sugar, 5 to 15 minutes.
Thoroughly wash 12 half-pint canning jars and their lids. If you plan to process the jam for shelf-stable storage, prepare a water bath and sterilize the jars as described in our canning guide. Set several metal spoons on a plate in the freezer. Scrape apricot mixture into a wide shallow pot and heat over medium-high heat, stirring regularly, until sugar is melted and mixture starts to bubble, 10 to 15 minutes.
Cook apricot mixture over medium-high heat, stirring as needed to prevent scorching, until jam starts to foam, about 15 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring minimally and lowering the heat if necessary to prevent scorching, until foaming has subsided, about 15 minutes longer; scrape any foam off jam surface with a stainless steel spoon as needed.
Taste jam for tartness: If the jam tastes too sweet without a good balance of tartness, add 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) of the remaining lemon juice at a time, stirring well and tasting between additions, until the lemony flavor is just barely perceptible and the balance of sweet and tart has been reached (like good lemonade).
Continue to cook until bubbling has slowed and jam looks glossy and appears thickened around the edge, 5 to 15 minutes; lower heat as necessary to prevent scorching. Turn off heat and set a dollop of jam on one of the freezing-cold spoons, then return to freezer for 5 minutes. Jam is ready once it holds together and doesn't run off the spoon when tilted. If jam is too runny, return to heat and cook, stirring frequently and repeating the spoon test every 5 minutes, until jam passes test.
Transfer jam into prepared canning jars and wipe any jam from the rims. To store in refrigerator, simply place lids on jars, screw on rings, and let cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating. To process jam for shelf-stable storage, bring water bath to a rolling boil. Place lids on jars and screw on rings until they are snug but not overly tight. Carefully lower jars into boiling water bath and process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let cool completely at room temperature. Unprocessed jam can be refrigerated for a couple of months; Processed jam can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
Large, wide pot; half-pint size canning jars, lids, and rings; deep stockpot for canning (optional); jar lifter (optional); canning funnel (optional)
This Recipe Appears In
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 8g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||8%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|