Apricot Jam (NOT Sugar Free)

A fitting 12 jars of jam guest blog for Week 12 of Day in the Life: Katie Shelters At Home. Katie has become quite the jamming (& canning) connoisseur since our first labor-intensive session that produced 4 tiny jars of apricot jam.

Missing in 2020: cute gift tags

It’s apricot season, again!

I had been eagerly waiting for a couple of weeks when I finally got the message that Joey’s apricot tree was ripe for picking. Bring on the apricots!

Fruit picking is a dangerous business

The apricots were sweet, juicy, and perfect for jamming. Read through to the end to see how many apricots this was.

Since my first attempt at water bath canning two years ago using improper equipment, I invested in the Ball Utensil Set. This has seriously been a jamming game changer!

Totally worth the $7 (see the uses below)

I followed this low sugar apricot jam recipe. I don’t exactly know how “low” was defined here, but three cups of sugar seems like quite a lot to me (and I’m sure in Mary’s eyes, an exorbitant amount). Such is jam life.

Actually weighing the apricots to calculate the correct amount of sugar
Freshly picked lemons (still warm from hanging in the sun)

Thankfully, the apricots in apricot jam don’t need to be peeled (otherwise, I would have given up on this operation ages ago). Just cut them in half, remove the pits, and throw them in a pot with some water, sugar, and lemon juice until they become mushy.

I was careful to stir constantly over low heat to be sure not to burn the apricots (like I sadly did with the plums last year). After simmering for about an hour, I used the plate-in-the-freezer technique to confirm that the jam was ready for canning.

No pectin, just lots of heat (and patience)
Nifty jar funnel (although 10 seconds later I proceeded to knock over the entire jar)
Nifty bubble remover/headspace measurer

My current roommate, Stacey, has an extra large stock pot. This is perfect for water bath canning since the jars can be covered by at least one inch of water, which is necessary for proper sealing (and therefore safe canning).

Boiled for 10 minutes and removed with the nifty jar lifter
In love with these cute, vintage square jars from Stacey’s grandparents’ infamous backyard orchard

While my canning skills have come a long way since Mary and I first tried making jam two years ago, I still have a love-hate relationship with jamming. From picking the apricots to slaving over a hot stove, it’s a rather long and labor-intensive process. However, the compliments I receive from friends who enjoy the jam make the effort worth it (and Words of Affirmation is not even one of my main Love Languages!).

“Is it worth it? Let me work it”♫ – Me while making jam

2020 Apricot Jam Statistics

Total number of apricots = 121
Total weight of apricots = 6.2 lbs
Total number of 1/2 pint jars = 12

Now on to plum jam season…

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