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.
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.
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.
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.
As they cool you will hear the ever satisfying 'pop'.
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)
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.
Jars should be stored in a cool, dark place.