Perfect Apricot Jam

…without pectin.

Apricot Jam

 Mmmmmm….toast and jam makes me really happy.

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I had to take a break from packing and painting and weed killing because some things…like apricots, just won’t wait. At the risk of losing them all, I decided to just drop everything and make some jam in my cute little kitchen.

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I wasn’t positive that I even had everything that I needed because I’m still living in one house while working on the other, and I don’t have my kitchen totally set up yet.

As it turns out, I found what I needed. I also found a very simple recipe without pectin, that–short of burning the whole pot to a crisp–promised to be pretty much fool-proof. My kind of recipe.

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So, you start with 8 cups of washed, pitted, and chopped apricots. 
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 Mush them around a bit with a potato masher. You don’t have to go crazy with this part–just smash them enough that you release a fair amount of the natural juices.

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Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice. I used bottled juice–but if you have fresh lemons, you can use them. Either way should be fine.

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Now add 6 cups of sugar to a nice, deep sauce pan. Stir in the apricots and mix it well.

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Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture reaches a rolling boil, continue cooking for about 30 minutes. Keep checking on it and stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the pan and scorch.

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When it starts getting really foamy, I always add about a teaspoon and a half of butter–which usually calms it all down. You don’t have to do that–it’s just what I do.

Now I should have a lovely picture of pouring the beautiful jam into the jars, but since I was alone in the house, taking pictures of that process seemed like a good way to land in the emergency room.  SO…

you’ll have to believe me when I tell you that I poured the jam in the hot, clean jars and processed them in the boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

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Here’s my proof. That and…

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this.

Gr Signature

5.0 from 2 reviews
Perfect Apricot Jam--Without Pectin
 
: 5 pints
Ingredients
  • 8 cups chopped apricots
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 5 pint jars, lids and rings
Instructions
  1. Mash the apricots lightly.
  2. Add lemon juice and sugar.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  4. Once it reaches a rolling boil, continue boiling for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into clean, hot jars.
  6. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
  7. Let set for a few hours until cans seal
  8. :]

Crabby Apples?

We did a little research and found that the pretty–but messy–trees in the front yard are actually crab apples.

All we knew was that they have gorgeous pink blossoms in the spring and ten billion berry-type things in the fall.

Usually, we just avoid going near them at this time of year because if you happen to walk under the branches in a slight breeze—half a dozen of the Barbie apples will nail you in the head. And just walking across the lawn isn’t too pleasant either because stepping on the old ones is squishy business.

So, we did a bit more study and found that there are about  36 varieties of crab apples and the ones in our yard–we learned–were packed with natural pectin and would make wonderful jelly. So we shook them down—on purpose this time, and raked them into one big pile.

Next, The Bald Kid took the leaf blower and separated the tiny apples from the leaves and grass. It worked like a charm and was easier on the fruit than raking because these little things bruise and discolor very quickly.

We separated the good from the not so good and took them in the house to wash.

Next, we steamed them in the juicer….

…and boiled it down to…

…a beautiful and great tasting jelly, that goes perfectly with… peanut butter!

What is the most interesting jelly you’ve ever tasted?