There’s nothing sweeter than ripe apricots. When in season, these bits of joy are the only thing we eat for breakfast. Combined with oats and berries, apricots are the tastiest thing in spring. You can eat them fresh, dried or “jammed.”
Yes, apricot jam is our thing, and we have the perfect recipe. No, you don’t need to use more sugar.
Apricots are packed with vitamins A, C, and E, beta carotene and other antioxidants. All you need is 3-4 apricots every day. A mature tree will give you about 300 pounds of sweet apricots.
Unfortunately, apricots go bad in less than a week, and there’s no way to eat this many apricots in 4-5 days. If you buy your apricots from the local market, keep in mind that their kernels are pretty heavy.
The best way to preserve apricots
The sun is your best friend when it comes to drying your apricots. But, if you can’t do this, you can make jam. Dried fruits are packed with nutrients, and a few dried apricots will give you enough calcium, potassium and vitamin K.
Dried apricots will enhance your digestion and improve any skin condition. Need a remedy for your inflammation? Try apricots.
No-sugar apricot jam
Apricot jam is usually made with apricots, sugar and lemon juice. There are recipes that require you to follow a 1:1 ratio or 3:1 ratio.
Well, if you love yourself and don’t want to add more sugar, try our recipe. If you like your jam sweeter, add some raw honey once you open the jar in winter.
Sterilize the jars
Clean jars are important for the process. You can sterilize your jars in a dishwasher or in your oven. Well, the USDA says none of these methods works, adding that they are definitely not safe.
If you like to do things properly, soak your jars in a large pot or water-bath canner. Pour hot water, and bring it to a boil. Boil for another 10 minutes, and turn off the heat.
Take the jars out of the pot using a jar lifter. If you don’t have one, feel free to use tongs. Drain your jars, and let them air-dry on a clean cloth.
You can clean the lids and rings using hot water and soap. Boiling water will damage the rubber seals.
Wash the fruit
Wash your apricots under running water. Make sure every piece is clean.
Remove bruised bits, mold and damaged parts. Cut the fruit in half, and remove the kernel. Cut every half into chunks of your choice.
Put the chunks into a flat pot with thick bottom. The fruits need to fit in your pot, and make sure there’s enough room for the foam to come out.
Cook your apricots for 30 minutes. Some like to cook them for 2 hours. Go for mushy, melted pieces. Stir the jam regularly, because burnt jam tastes like… charcoal.
Enrich the flavor of your jam with kirsch, rosemary, basil, chia seeds, ginger and other ingredients to your liking.
Ladle the jam!
Ladle the jam in your jars carefully. Leave ¼’’ free space at the top, and wipe clean the jars. Put the lid on.
Water bath canner
Place the jars to the water canner, and “cook” them for 5-10 minutes. Remove the jars from the water bath, and let them cool at room temperature.
You have probably noticed that your grandma skips the water bath, and just turns filled jars upside down on a wire rack. If the lid makes a popping sound, it’s not sealed properly.
People in Hungary and Romania place their jars inside a lined box and cover them with blankets to prolong the cooling process (1-2 days).
Keeping it clean
This is the most important part of the process. Make sure your apricots and utensils are clean.
Use your jam to make pastries or add a sweet note to your yogurt and granola. Add honey for a powerful kick and sweetness.