Last year, when we were thinking about buying our house, Alex and snuck into the backyard to see it on the way home from a run. As we passed through the sideyard where the trash was, I looked up and noticed a tree full of apricots. I was able to jump up and grab one to eat. It was quite tasty. I thought to myself, “if we buy this house, I am making jam out of those apricots next year.
Fast forward to this spring. I saw the apricots begin to ripen and asked my neighbor if I might have some when they ripened. She told me that she had pickers come and take all the apricots off the tree at once and she would give them to me then. It sounded great. About a week and a half ago she told me the pickers would arrive the next morning and she would place the apricots on my porch when they were done. I got home from running errands that day and there were two boxes on my porch – score!
However, I forgot exactly how much work canning was. I didn’t do much last year as Walter was still a wee one and I was trying to figure out life still. Alex and I dug out all the canning supplies from the mess that is our garage (yes, we moved in almost a year ago and yes the garage still has boxes we haven’t gone through) and started to set up shop. It took one batch (which came out more like apricot gummies than jam) to get back in the swing of things and we were in business. We spent the next week chopping up apricots by night and making jam in the morning. I should warn you not to double or triple this recipe. If you do it messes up the times for boiling and your jam won’t quite come out right.
Fresh Apricot Jam, a recipe from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving
3 cups coarsely chopped unpeeled fresh apricots
3 ½ c. granulated sugar
¼ c. lemon juice
Stir together apricots, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours, stirring occasionally (if you are up and not doing it while you sleep).
Place apricot mixture in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently and by frequently I mean don’t walk away from it. Reduce heat to medium and boil rapidly for 25 minutes. Continue stirring it. Then take it off the heat. Ladle it into jars and place in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.