Barack Lekvar / Apricot Jam
Credit: Marika’s Kitchen
- 16 lbs. Apricots (approx. 13lbs after seeds removed and trimmed)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (strained)
- 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
- Assortment of mason jars sterilized and dried thoroughly (washed in very hot and soapy water, rinsed and dried thoroughly.
- 2 part rubber lined lids and bands for each mason jar, freshly washed, rinsed and dried to vacuum seal jars.
- After cutting apricots in half, removing seeds and trimming stems and blemishes there will be approximately 13 lbs of apricot left of the 16 lbs.
- Roast/bake in oven at 325F for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
- As apricots begin to soften, gently press apricots down beneath syrup that releases to keep tips and edges from burning needlessly. Or just snip any burnt edges off after and while cooking over stove top.
- Remove from oven, stir, removing any burned portions of apricots.
- Transfer roasted apricots to stock pot, add 1/2 to 3/4 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Turn burner on medium heat and stir continuously with a long handled wooden spoon.
- Be careful of your face, arms and legs because the bubbling purée splatters and pops unexpectedly and erratically and can reach pretty far sometimes.
- You have to play with the heat of your stove, inching it up and down as needed to keep the purée bubbling with the least amount of splattering out of the pot as the purée continues evaporating the moisture while thickening the jam.
- Continuous stirring reduces the splattering unless the heat is just too high, in which case it will splatter no matter what. Lower heat to where it is manageable. 🙂
- The goal is to keep it bubbling and popping and exhausting steam at a level where for the most part, it is not splattering out.
- After about an hour, add sugar. How much is a personal preference and depends on how much natural sweetness your apricots have.
- These were fairly tart after roasting. I added 1 1/2 cups of organic cane sugar and then continued stirring and cooking for another 45 minutes. (2 hours roasting/baking at 325F, 1 hr 45 minutes cooking and stirring stove top.)
- Using a funnel, fill freshly washed and thoroughly dried mason jars with jam to about 1/2 an inch below the top of the jar.
- Wipe rim of jar clean and dry and add freshly washed and dried cap and band to jars, sealing them nice and tight.
- Heat oven to 170F degrees, add capped jars of jam to a cookie sheet and leave in oven for two hours.
- After 2 hours, turn oven off.
- Do not open the oven. Allow jars to remain in oven until the following day, allowing them to cool off completely.
- By the next morning all the jars should be sealed.
- To insure they are sealed press down on each lid and make sure the kids have sucked down and that they do not click each time you press on lid.
- Sometimes a few might click once a you press it into place but then remain down. That is okay and sealed.
- Anything that is sealed can be placed in a cool dark cupboard and can be stored for years when properly sealed in clean sterile jars.
- If a jar fails to seal, place in refrigerator and consume those first. Once you open a jar, eat it within a few days. No preservatives means it can’t be left half eaten in fridge for long periods.
- Always label your canned jars to identify content, and date for future reference.
- With apricot jam, I even like to add a little note about source; where I got the apricots from and type of apricot. Some apricots are better than others.
- I also like to keep the boxes and dividers the mason jars come in because it makes storing the jam very easy and compact. I can stack cases of jam on top of each other when I have the original box and dividers for the mason jars.
Time frame for this batch:
- 12:45pm roaster went into 325F oven
- 2:45pm on stovetop, once a boil is reached, reduce heat to medium to low setting and stir continuously, always scraping bottom of pot to be sure it isn’t sticking.
- 3:30pm added 1 cup (223g) organic cane sugar
- 3:35pm added another 1/2 cup (108g) organic cane sugar.
- 4:30pm ready to fill
- 5:00pm into 170 to 185F oven for two hours
- 7:00pm turn off oven, leave oven door closed till next morning.
- Next morning. Open oven door, press on all lids and any that continually pop, store in fridge, use first and store rest in pantry.
- I don’t even remember the last time a jar didn’t seal.
- If jars are clean and lids are new and the two-section lid and band, you shouldn’t have a problem.
- I don’t have experience with reusing jars and lids like pickle jars so I can’t advise on how that gets sealed.
Credit: Marika’s Kitchen
- For Syrup, I add any leftover jam that didn’t make it into the jars into the syrup. All spoons and ladles get rinsed in the syrup as I work. Never waste apricot purée by rinsing it in the sink. The more apricot purée added to your syrup, the tastier your syrup will be!
- I use the blender wand to blend the syrup too before heating.
- Add a little lemon juice to the syrup as soon as possible after ladling it out of the roaster to maintain apricot color.
- Bring syrup to a slow boil and add sugar. For between 6 to 8 cups of syrup, I used 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Again, this is a personal preference thing. You can use as much or as little sugar as you prefer. My preference is s little as is necessary to sweeten it and no more. Less is more for me but again, that is just me.
- Syrup becoming glaze is a much quicker process. After it turns to a glaze consistency, should take approximately 20 minutes follow same process. Fill clean, dry jars with glaze using some sort of funnel to fill. Wipe top edges of jars clean and dry. Cap and add to oven.