I’m not sure if this is a “frugal” recipe, or if this jam is in anyway cheaper than buying jam in the store. What I do know is that I have about a gillion and five apricots on my tree right now and they are all starting to ripen. Letting them fall to the ground and rot seems like a waste of money (and a huge mess!).
The other evening Hubby & I decided to pick some after putting Bee to bed.
We came inside the house with 57 apricots… and we didn’t even dent the tree!
There are so many fruits, the tree can’t handle it! Most of the branches are touching the ground!
What’s a girl to do with so many apricots? Preserve them… save them. Definitely don’t let them go to waste!
The only problem? I have never done that before!
I decided that I’d try making & canning jam for the first time.
I had no clue what I was doing, I’d never made jam or canned anything. Hubby bought me a pressure cooker for Mother’s Day and I have a bunch of mason jars. So, I really had no choice but to try canning jam.
I read a few different recipes and sorta winged it. I was really uncomfortable doing that at first, but that feeling wore off quickly. Jam is actually really easy to make. As long as it tastes good and sets correctly, the only other concern is making sure the jars seal.
First I blanched all of my apricots. If you don’t know what blanching is, then you’re just as inexperienced as I was the morning before doing this! Don’t worry, Google it… it’s easy!
Once the skin was removed (and the apricots were cool!), I chopped up 5 cups. It took 33 apricots to get the 5 cups. I was really hoping it would take more!
The next thing I did was put my jars and rings in hot, soapy water and put the tops in a bowl. I filled the bowl of tops with boiling water and let it sit.
I put the apricots in a large saucepan, added lemon juice, pecticin and a little butter. I brought all of that to a rapid boil, stirring constantly.
Once the boiling started, I added 7 cups of sugar. Yeah. I know. Holy crap, right?! SEVEN CUPS? To 5 cups of apricots?!?! I thought it was nuts, too.
I returned the apricot concoction to a rapid boil and allowed it to boil for about a minute and a half, stirring the whole time. The jam started splashing onto my hand, so I had to use an oven mit!
Once the time was up, I removed it from the heat, washed the jars & rings, and then filled the jars with the jam using a ladle and funnel.
I made a mess on my first jar and had to clean it off before putting the lid on.
Now that I had all the jam in jars and the lids on (and really tight!), I placed them in my pressure cooker (which I had filled with hot water and placed on my stove prior to starting this). I made sure there was about an inch and a half of water above my jars, put the lid on the pressure cooker, and brought the water to a boil.
Once it reached boiling point, I set the stove timer to 10 minutes and let the pressure cooker do it’s thing.
After the timer went off, I didn’t remove the pressure cooker from the stove… I was scared the jars hadn’t been in long enough and they wouldn’t seal properly! So I left them in for 3 extra minutes.
When the 13 minutes were up, I removed the pressure cooker from the hot burner and opened the lid. I pulled all of the jars out and placed them on a towel to cool.
It took a few hours, but it worked! The jars were sealed!
I successfully canned jam for the first time!
I was pretty excited… the jam tastes great, too!
Once I was done, I was surprised by how simple the entire process had been. I was so intimidated by it, but I shouldn’t have been!
I’m definitely going to be doing a lot more canning this summer.