"I fear that so many feel that a long-term supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. Begin in a small way…gradually build toward a reasonable objective.” -President Gordon B. Hinckley,

Friday, July 22, 2011


 I looked out the window and what did I see popcorn popping on the apricot tree. Yes, spring did bring a great surprise. Harvest time is a little earlier here in the desert, but I love it all the same. I found a local farm here that has all sorts of wonderful things to remind me of home. On this particular outing we picked our own apricots.  We got a little carried away with it and picked a lot more than anticipated, but in the end I was grateful for it.
 Once I got home I busted out my favorite book, Ball Blue Book guide to preserving and began following instructions for apricot preserves.

I began by blanching about 2 pounds of apricots. Blanching is a cooking process wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process. Once blanched the skin just falls off the apricot making it super easy to peel.

After they were pitted and peeled I combined the 2 pounds of apricots with 4 cups of sugar, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a large saucepot.
After stirring it all together I covered the pot and placed in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
During that time I worked on canning the apricot in whole form.(which I will get to a little later)

4 hours later bring the apricots that were in the fridge to a slow boil stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly almost to gelling point.

As the mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat and prepare to place this deliciousness into hot jars.

You can prepare your jars a couple different ways from placing them in boiling water for 10 mins, or the easy route I take- the dishwasher. I place my jars and rings in the dishwasher and run it through a rinse cycle. Gets them nice and toasty. Be sure to only remove one jar at a time to keep them warm.

Ladle the hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Headspace is the space in the jar between the top of the food or liquid and the inside of the lid. Prepare your lids by placing them in simmering water (180F) for 10 mins, then removing one lid at time as needed.

Clean the edge of the jar with a damp rag before adding the lid and ring.
Hand tighten the ring snugly, and place the jar in your boiling-water bath canner to be processed for 15 mins
Time starts when the water is boiling.

When you remove them from the boiling-water canner place them on a towel to protect your counter top.
As they cool you will hear the ever satisfying 'pop'.
After 12-24 hours, test the lids to determine if a vacuum seal has formed. If the center does not flex up and down and you cannot lift the lid off, the lid has a good seal. 

Now onto jarring apricots.  2-2 1/2 pounds of apricots per quart, sugar, water, and Ball fruit-fresh Produce Protector is the recipe.
I chose to Raw Pack my apricots(mainly because I was feeling lazy and wanted to be finished :) )
I washed the apricots, cut them in half and pitted them. (no peeling with raw pack)
Then I treated them with Fruit-Fresh, which is an ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to prevent browning and protect flavor.

I prefer an extra light syrup with my fruit - that mixture is 1 1/4 cups of sugar with 5 1/2 cups of water to yield 6 cups of syrup.

 Pack apricots cavity side down, into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup over apricots leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Wide mouth jars work best for this, but I only had regular on hand so that is what I went with.
Remove the air bubbles, clean the rim of the jar, put the lid on tighten the ring, and place in the boiling-water canner. Process quarts pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes.
Jars should be stored in a cool, dark place.

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