Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blenheim Apricot Preserves Make Summer Sweeter





 
 

It’s that time of year when I’m inspired to make apricot jam.
It’s a tradition to drive to Brentwood in mid June and purchase 3 cases of Blenheim apricots. (I planted my own Blenheim tree last year, but the critters ate them all!) I love to give the jars to friends and relatives as a hostess gift all year long.


 
 I call Wolfe Ranch in the beginning of June and make an appointment to come by and get the apricots when they are first picked.

 


 I will then come home, separate the apricots on sheet pans lined with paper towels and wait until they are good and ripe before starting my preserves.


I always use the less sugar Sure Jell fruit pectin (pink package) because it is not as sweet and somewhat healthier. I set out all the ingredients, have the jam jars and lids cleaned and sitting in a hot water bath, have the wax melted in a sauce pan on the stove, have the food processor on the counter next to my measuring cups, lemon juice freshly squeezed, and butter and sugar out ready to go. 

 
 

Next, I wash the apricots and cut them in half. I pulse them in the food processor and also cut some of them up with a small knife. DO NOT puree. Then I follow the cooked jam recipe exactly from the Sure Jell package.





  •  I measure exactly 6 cups of apricots into an 8 quart deep sauce pan and stir in 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 1tsp unsalted butter.
  •  Measure 4½ C sugar into a separate bowl. 
  • Mix ¼ C of sugar from measured amount into a small bowl with 1 box of Sure Jell.
  •  Stir pectin-sugar mixture into fruit
  •   Bring mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat stirring constantly.
  •  Stir in remaining sugar quickly and return to a full rolling boil for exactly 1 1/2 minutes.

  •  Remove from heat and ladle into prepared jars. Fill to within 1/8 inch of the top of the jar. Ladle in paraffin wax.

  • Cover with lids and screw bands on tightly. When cool, wipe off any excess jam on the outside with a warm wash cloth. Enjoy!
Have you ever made jam? Leave a comment for me.





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