I’ve been getting so many apricots in my CSA box the last couple of weeks, so my neighbor and I decided to get together this past weekend and jam. If you’ve never made your own jam before, it’s so easy your grandmother can do it. Oh wait, she probably did.
Speaking of grandmothers, even though Martha Stewart is technically an ex-con, her past crimes are irrelevant to her current homemaking skills. Taking a cue from her 4 minute “how to make apricot jam” video for the ratio of fruit to sugar*, I used the following quantities. My loot of forlorn countertop apricots could finally fulfill their glorious culinary destiny.
- 4 pounds fresh apricots, cut into small chunks
- 4 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
- 10 apricot kernels (save and smash the pits with a hammer. inside of each pit is a kernel that will look like an almond and smell like almond extract)
- 1/3 cup water
- Juice of 2 lemons
Put everything in a pot, bring it to a boil and while simmering, imagine how awesome it will be to spread on a scone. I made about 7 cups of jam (as shown in the photo above). I could have done with less water, actually, as it took me over an hour to boil everything down.
After your jam is ready, you need to store it using proper canning techniques if you want it to last long. Mason jars are ideal, but if you make a small batch you can store your unsealed jar(s) in the refrigerator and try to eat all the jam within a month. If it’s been longer, check for weird smells and/or signs of mold before you dig in.
*Martha’s recipe from the video makes 4 cups. She advises to use 2.5 lbs fresh apricots, 3 cups sugar, 5-6 kernels, 1/4 cup water and the juice of 1 lemon.
Q: What’s the best variety of apricots to use for making jam?
I’ve made apricot jam twice now, using whatever was in season that came from my CSA. The first time (pictured above) I used an equal combination of Robada apricots and Golden Sweet apricots, and the second time only Blenheim apricots.
If I ever make it again, I would definitely use the Robada and Golden Sweet apricot combination for both the color and flavor. The jam turned out a bright, darker red-orange and the flavor was amazing but hard to describe. It was just… less apricotty, and more peachy. On the other hand, the light orange-colored Blenheim apricot jam was closer in taste and aroma to store-bought apricot jam and dried apricots, so it was a familiar flavor and less interesting.