I love this time of year. all of a sudden there is an abundance of produce to be had. A few weeks ago I went to my grandpa's house and his Saturn peach tree was heavy with fruit so ripe you had to eat it over the sink so as not to make a mess of yourself. The ones we salvaged and brought home were made in to a peach tart tatin. The plum tree was next and what we didn't eat raw was converted in to a plum crisp by my "I don't bake" Mommy.
Everywhere I turn it seems that someone has an overabundance of something and I just can't bring myself to see it wasted. I used to process and freeze things but last year I invested in some canning equipment and a book on "how to". My first couple experiments were small, but successful. Tomatoes, fig preserves, marinara and blueberry preserves. This year I am attempting to do it in bulk and so far, so good!
From my lovely bestie Clover came about 10# of uber ripe apricots which I decided to make into jam (duh). As usual I get these brainstorms late at night and end up finishing my project after 11:00 at which point I am bleary eyed with sleep and wine. Fortunately for me the cooking goddess likes me and generally blesses my forays in to territory unknown.
This batch was the first I made with pectin, which fortunately for me shortens the cooking time substantially and also results in a shiny beautiful jam. It was extremely easy and only requires a little patience in the canning process. I also bought the pectin that enables you to use less sugar or artificial sugar as my recipe called for an insane amount of sugar in ratio to the apricots, over double what the recipe below calls for. I could feel my teeth rotting just reading it. The fruit was so ripe there was no need to go overboard on the sugar.
5# Ripe Apricots, seeded and chopped
4 T Lemon Juice
1 Package (49g) Pectin
3 C Sugar
6-7 Eight oz jars with lids
Sterilize your jars and lids and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan, mix your fruit, lemon juice and pectin together well and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the sugar all at once (best if you measure in to a bowl as opposed to cup by cup) and keep stirring. Bring to a good boil, it should turn shiny and thick. If there is any foam on top, skim that off with a spoon and discard.
Pour in to jars, leaving a 1/4" gap between the jam and the lid. Screw on the lids tight and put in a canner or a large pot of water (covering lids). Boil for 10 minutes and remove.
There is a great canning kit that I got from Bed Bath & Beyond, it is cheap, but has all the essentials for picking up the cans, grabbing lids and pouring your goodies in to the jars without making a total mess of your kitchen. You can find it here .