How to Make Delicious Apricot Jam That Will Have You Drooling

How to Make a Delicious Apricot Jam
Have more apricots harvesting from your garden than you can handle? Ever thought of making apricot jam at home? Find out how to make apricot jam in this post. Breakfast will never be the same with your homemade jam!
Apricots are quite an unusual fruit to be a favorite - most people like apples, bananas and the likes. But apricots are in fact delicious fruits as well. The fruit has a pulpy texture that is not entirely smooth but more granular. Apricot jam, however, is a lot popular than most other jams. A lot of people love gardening, and almost everybody who has a big garden has at least one apricot tree in it. I don't have a garden, and hence no apricot tree either. But my aunt tells me that the garden smells lovely when the apricot tree bears fruits and the fruits ripen. It gives off a nice tropical smell. She loves spending time in the garden when her apricots are ready to be picked.

So if you have decided to make apricot jam, that is an excellent decision! A dollop of apricot jam with vanilla ice-cream, or on toast tastes delicious. Apricot jam also goes well with fruit salad. Spread some on Indian flat bread and roll into a delicious and healthy snack! Apricot Jam is really easy to make. Find out as you read on...
Tasty Apricot Jam Recipe
Ingredients for apricot jam
Main Ingredients
  • Yummy, ripe, juicy, fresh apricots
  • Sugar - 1 cup for every pound of prepared fruit
  • Lemon Juice - freshly squeezed from half a lemon
Optional Ingredients
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Dry fruits (cashew nuts, pistachios, almonds, raisins)
  • Dried apricots
Here is how to make apricot jam at home. Trust me, it tastes much better than the apricot jam you get in the market. (Because you made it with your own hands? May be...) It takes about 60 to 90 minutes in all.
Prepare the Fruit
Fresh apricot fruit
Most people prefer to skin the fruit before they actually use it to make the jam. Here is how to skin apricots.
  • First wash the fruits thoroughly under flowing tap water.
  • Place the washed apricots in a big vessel of boiling water. Blanch them for about half to one minute.
  • Remove the fruit and immediately place in a vessel of ice-cold water.
  • The skin loosens and peels off easily.
Now cut the fruit. It is best to cut the fruit in eight pieces. Make two vertical cuts at 90o and one horizontal cut through the center of the fruit. If the apricots are small, you may simply cut them into 4 pieces each. Blanched fruit is slightly pulpy - even better! You want it to be reduced to a gooey jam anyway. Your fruit is now ready to be turned into yummy apricot jam.
Making the Jam
Apricot and sugar in pot
Before you actually begin with the jam making, take a small clean glass cup or bowl and place it in the freezer to cool. You will need it to check if the jam has gelled well or not. How? You will find out as you read...
  • Take a clean cooking utensil. Make sure the utensil is NOT made of aluminum.
  • Place the blanched and cut apricots into the pan. Add sugar and lemon juice to the mixture.
  • Add just a little bit of water, or you may skip on the water too.
  • Cook the apricots on high flame. Make sure to stir continuously (recommended), or intermittently.
  • Cook for about 30 minutes. Observe as the jam darkens in color.
  • After 30 minutes of cooking, take the glass cup/bowl out of the freezer and dunk a spoonful of jam into it. Now tilt the cup/bowl. If the jam runs onto the sides of the cup/bowl it needs more cooking.
  • Turn the flame to medium and cook for an additional 5 minutes and check again. Mostly that should suffice.
  • Take the utensil off the burner - your jam is ready! Let it cool to room temperature.
Storing Your Apricot Jam
Apricot jam in french jar
If you have bought a canning kit, you can your apricot jam. Simply follow the instructions on the kit to can your jam and preserve it. You can also prefer to store it in traditional jam bottles. simply scoop the jam out of the utensil and fill up the bottle. Make sure you use air-tight bottles to store your jam. Moisture collecting in a jam bottle is not a good idea. This is also why you should ensure that your jam has sufficiently cooled down before you store it away. If you are not canning your jam, it is best to consume it within 2 to 3 weeks. Canned jam can be stored at room temperature for months together. However, if you open a can, refrigerate it immediately. You can even use French jars to store your jam. They look so cute!
Some Alternatives
The method to make apricot jam discussed above is just one way. There are several alternative things you can do at some of the steps. Here is an account of all those;
  • If you do not want to skin your apricots, you can use the fruit with the skin as well. Take extra care while washing, if you plan to use apricots with the skin intact.
  • It would be a good idea to macerate the apricots if you are going to use them with the skin. For maceration, simply place the cut apricots in a vessel with sugar and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly, cover with a thin loin cloth and leave in a cool and dry place overnight. For best results, store the vessel in an empty kitchen cupboard shelf. For best results, macerate for at least 12 to 15 hours.
  • Though not absolutely necessary, you may use pectin in your jam (it helps to gel the jam and thicken it sufficiently). But why add chemicals if you are making jam at home? My aunt opts out of adding pectin - that way the jam is more natural.
  • If you are calorie conscious and are looking for sugar alternatives, you can add Splenda. Alternatively, you may add fruit juice instead of adding sugar (apple fruit juice works best). Finally, you can even skip sugar altogether. However, such a jam would need extra care while storing, as the sugar in jams usually acts as a preservative as well as a sweetener.
  • The lemon is to prevent the fruit from blackening after cutting it into pieces. If you do not want to use lemons, you may use Fruit Fresh. But then it is again adding artificial ingredients to home-made jam.
  • As you cook the apricots into a jam, a lot of thick froth forms over the vessel. Scoop it off with a ladle and collect it in a separate bowl. As the bubbles break and the froth settles down, a thick sweet syrup is left at the bottom of the bowl. Use this apricot syrup on cakes, ice-creams and fruit salads - tastes yummy! You can even put it back into the jam if you want.
Jam Additives
If you like your jam to be slightly chewy and crunchy, there are lots of things you can add to your delicious home-made apricot jam! You may save a few pieces of macerated apricots and add them to the final cooked jam so that the jam has a few pieces of the actual fruit. If you are using skinned apricots, adding a few pieces of apricots that have been separately macerated and still have the skin intact could also be a good idea. You may even add nuts like cashew nuts and pistachios to the jam. Dried raisin also taste yummy! But personally I think almonds taste simply out of this world...! Finally, dried apricots also go well with apricot jam.
So that is how you make apricot jam at home. You can buy apricots from the market to make your jam. Frozen apricots can also be used. But nothing beats making jam from fruits picked from your own garden. Hope you make a really lip-smacking apricot jam over the weekend.