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Apricot Preserves

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pounds firm apricots (or apriums or plumcots)
  • Sugar equal in weight to stoned fruit; about 6 cups
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon edible dried lavender blossoms (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash the fruit and remove the stones, reserving 4 of them. (Discard the others.)
  2. Weigh the fruit and weigh an equal amount of sugar. Coarsely chop the fruit.
  3. Meanwhile, place sugar in a large heatproof glass or metal bowl and warm in a 250° oven, stirring occasionally.
  4. Combine the fruit and warm sugar in a nonreactive saucepan and add the lemon juice.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook, stirring frequently to avoid scorching, until the fruit falls apart and the jam passes the jell test, about 25-35 minutes.
  6. To do this, place a saucer in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Remove from freezer, dribble a teaspoon of jam on it and return to freezer for 2 minutes. Remove and check. If the mixture is still runny, continue cooking and check again in 5 minutes. If it holds its shape, the jam is ready.
  7. Ladle the jam into half-pint jars, washed with soapy water and rinsed with boiling water or just run through a full cycle of the dishwasher.
  8. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let cool on kitchen counter. When cool, close with lids or a double thickness of plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Refrigerate.
  9. Optional additions: Wrap the reserved apricot pits in a dish towel or several thicknesses of paper towels and crack by hitting them with a rock or the bottom of a very heavy pan (cast iron has the right heft). Remove the almond-like kernel and add 1 to each jar of jam for a delicate almond flavor.

This is to be eaten within a month, so there is no need for water-bath processing. Just keep the jam jars well closed in the refrigerator.

Preparation Time: 
60
Cook Time: 
40