Easy Apricot Jam

Today amid driver’s ed and housecleaning and dealing with kid ‘tudes and hosting an afternoon swim attended by 15 cousins, I also managed to can 24 pints of apricot jam. I say this not to brag, but to encourage those of you who are thinking about trying canning.

Canning is NOT hard. It so isn’t.

I got my apricots for free from a relative– gotta love that. This time of year many people with apricot trees find themselves swimming in apricots. If you ask around, you may score some for free too.

Mary’s Truly Easy Apricot Jam

4-1/2 cups apricot puree (use food processer)
1/2 cup lemon juice (or vinegar, which is what I used– this keeps the apricots a good safe acidity)
1 box Sure-Jell pectin (or similar brand)
6 cups sugar

Wash and sort the apricots. It is OK to use apricots with small soft spots as long as they aren’t discolored or (duh) moldy. My 3 and 6 year old daughters helped me sort, and did a good job at it. Tear the apricots in halves to remove the pits. My 10 year old sons did this for me. Fill food processer with apricot chunks and puree for a minute or so. Repeat until you have enough puree.

Wash 5 pint sized canning jars and rings. Fill a boiling water canner half full of water and bring to a boil on the stove. Dip each jar in and out of the boiling water. If you do not have a canner, you can use a very large pot, something tall enough that your jars can be fully submerged in water during processing.

Measure your puree carefully and pour into a big pot on the stove. Immediately mix in the pectin using a wire whisk. Heat mixture to a full rolling boil, first stirring occasionally and then more frequently as mixture heats up.

Once the mixture has reached a full rolling boiling, add sugar a couple cups at a time, stirring continuously. When all sugar is added and mixture has returned to a full rolling boiling, cook for one minute.

Pour mixture quickly into jars leaving 1/4 inch of ‘headspace’, or airspace at the top of the jar. Wipe edges of jars clean. Set on lids and screw rings on tightly. Process in boiling water water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars carefully and set on a towel on the counter to cool overnight.

Once cool, lids should seal down tightly so that you cannot push them further down when you press the center of the cap. If any of your jars do not seal, simply set them in the fridge and use within a couple weeks.

One batch of jam will probably take you an hour–more if you have an infant, and less if you have a kid or two over the age of 5 who is willing to give you a hand. And it is so darned pretty to look at when you’re done. One of the things I love about canning is that it is one of the few jobs that it doesn’t get UNdone immediately. Unlike laundry or vacuuming or dishes!

I’d love to hear if you decide to try your hand at this– it truly isn’t hard.


  1. I am SO trying this. However…if you pop by and take more of my apricots, I may not have to! 🙂

  2. Loved your recipe for strawberry and rhubarb jam, something I’ve never tried before. I have always added gooseberries to strawberrys, as they set the jam and make a few strawberrys go futher, but the pips can be a problem. Here in the UK I make jam by cooking fruit, adding sugar, stirring till disolved, then boiling till a drop sets on a plate. I don’t bottle my jam but just pour into glass jars, top with a greaseproof paper disc, then a cellophane circle which is fixed in place with an elastic band, it usually gets eaten with in a year, but can keep for longer.

  3. Multi-taskingmom says:

    You are right Mary – canning is so NOT hard. Yesterday my Aunt and I picked 16 quarts of Raspberries. I made 16 – 1/2 pints of jam (used 18 cups of raspberries and 12 cups of sugar). I have 24 cups of raspberries in the fridge ready to make into jam after swimming lessons today. We use it to flavor homemade yogurt as well as on toast.

    The kids (well all but the 2 year old) helped sort the berries so it made for a fun afternoon around the kitchen table.

    I love when things I had thought were so hard or beyond me turn out to be so easy.

    Take care,

  4. I second the ‘canning so isn’t hard’ statement. I always thought it was, but then I tried it and it really wasn’t bad at all! Last weekend we made 42 jars of raspberry jam and soon I want to make apricot-I’ll try out your recipe when I do!

  5. Maybe I missed something, but it looks like you left out the lemon juice/vinegar….

    Thanks for the recipe and the experienced opinion about canning. I would love to try canning, but haven’t taken the plunge yet as it seemed to be such a huge task.

  6. Wow! You were a busy lady yesterday. That apricot jam looks fabulous (just happens to be my favorite flavor). It will be like a taste of summer everytime you eat it this winter!

  7. Hello! I do have a quick question! Do you sterilize your jars first by boiling the for 10 mins, or do you just wash them good? That’s the only part I’ve had a problem with…having jars boiling and managing to have each lot sterilized before the next batch of jam is ready!

    Oh, and when I made it I only used about 2/3 a cup of sugar and some white grape juice, and used the low/no sugar pectin…if anyone doesn’t like the sound of having to use so much sugar. I would’ve used no sugar, but had to use store-bought peaches that just didn’t have the same zing as homegrown!

    Love your blog, and especially learning about the canning, as I am just venturing out in that area. 🙂

  8. I’ve canned blueberry jam this summer, and will make about 50 jars of applesauce in the autumn. I make vidalia onion relish about every other year. It’s expensive to buy and if you make it yourself, the cost is way down, and the flavor is way up.

    Thanks for the recipe.


  9. I’m going to try this for the first time this fall. I have read that you have to boil longer for every 1000 feet above sea level you are. Also I read somewhere that you shouldn’t do this on a flat-top cookstove…why would this be? Or it is not true? Does anyone know for sure? I’d love an email answer because I’d hate to inflict botulism upon my family…

  10. Thanks for the recipe I’ll have to try this sometime. My son just figured out that he really love “pricots”.

    I’m itching to use my very own canner that I got for Christmas.

    And maleesha, I did can on my flat top stove with no repercussions.

    Thanks, Heidi

  11. Narelle,

    All my jars have already gone through the dishwasher before I begin. Then I wash again with hot soapy water. I think the official recommendation is to set the jars in boiling water and boil for a few minutes again, but I just dip them all in and out of the boiling water before I begin filling any jars, then set them on a clean towel and leave them until it is time to fill them. I always have a few more prepped than I think I’ll need…


  12. Mary –
    I’ve been doing a super-easy variation of this, too.
    I use about the same amount of apricot puree, but then add 2 pkgs of plain gelatin. I put about 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar into the mixture (all in the food processor or blender), then bring it to a boil in a pot on the stove. Optional add-ins are vanilla and/or cinnamon.
    After it boils, I dump it into plastic canning containers with screw-on lids and put it in the freezer. This recipe is tart, but I’m trying to get away from so much white sugar in our diet (and you can certainly add more sugar to taste if you try this).
    I’ve also added a can of crushed pineapple to the apricot puree in the blender. The pineapple sweetened it a little more, but it’s still tart.
    The final product is a softer gel than traditional jam, but you can tweak the quantity of gelatin you add. We use this on pancakes/waffles or mixed in with plain yogurt for breakfast. I have also made low-sugar frozen yogurt in my ice cream maker by adding the above recipe to plain yogurt and freezing it like ice cream.
    Thanks for the great recipes!

  13. I’ll be making the jam – I made 2 batches of blueberry jam and we are really enjoying it.