Apricot Jam

apriotjam1I present to you, the first collaboration ever in Claire’s Kitchen! Apricot Jam. I feel the help I received really was due to the fact that Brad knows I HATE reading directions, oh , and he has muscles. I’m more of a ‘skimmer’ or a ‘wing-it’ kind of person.I think  he really just felt the need to step in and make sure I didn’t burn myself with boiling water, which is a safe bet.

I’ve never canned… we should can. We canned.

I grew up with both my parents canning pickles, salsa, and tomatoes. Brad’s grandparents were canner’s of peaches. The difference between the two beside the fact that neither of them involved jam…. Brad paid attention, I didn’t. Several internet sites and recipes later, Claire has a recipe, Brad has boiling water and a pair of tongs. The beautiful start to a long marriage. HA!

An extra trip to the store for jars, and a kitchen full of boiling water, and 2 hours later… we had apricot jam! We had about 15 cups worth of apricots donated to us the other day and we’ve been popping the tasty fruits for snacks over the course of the weekend. However… two people are incapable of dominating 2 entire Target bags filled to the brim of apricots, I checked.

I know you’re wondering, but it takes about 45 minutes to remove the seed and dice 15  cups of Apricots. It was horrible, and sticky. Also, who can slice, dice, or dismantle any kind of fruit with popping bits and pieces in your mouth. I did not feel like a million dollars after the occasional (constant) sampling of Apricots as they were being diced. #fruitissues

Apricot Jam

1 box of 12 4 oz Ball jars

4 cups of Apricots, seeds removed and diced

3 cups of sugar

1 packet/box of pectin

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tsp of cinnamon

1.Prepare you canner with boiling water: we used a dutch oven because we haven’t got one yet (wedding gift anyone?!) Heat your lid and jars in the water, but do not bring to a boil. (leave the bands set aside)

2. Combine your apricots, lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil (rolling boil) stirring continually. Once up to a full boil, add the 3oz box of pectin stirring continually. (do not turn down heat, this needs to be at a boil the whole minute)

3. Remove apricot pan from heat, then remove your jars from the warm/hot water and fill each jar with jam leaving 1/4” of headspace. Ball makes a tool for $1 that measures different increments of head room on jars. (green stick, got mine at Wal-Mart) Also works good to stir the jam before you seal it.

Once Apricots have been ladled into the jar, wipe rim!!, then place the lid centered on the jar, take the heated metal band, and secure tight!! If you don’t have a handyman                         around the house, you can also buy a lid tightener (Wal-Mart also had these in their Ball jar canning section)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          **You need to work as quickly as possible because the jars need to stay warm.

4. When you remove the jars from the water to fill with Apricots turn heat up to boil water again

5. Place the jars back in the canner(or your dutch oven) of boiling water. Start at boiling the jars for 10 minutes. You will need to add minutes according to the elevation time chart if you are canning 1000 ft above sea level:

1000-3000 ft : 5 minutes

3001-6000 ft: 10 minutes

6001-8000 ft: 15 minutes

8001-10000 ft: 20 minutes

I boiled for 15 minutes due to my location in the ol’ NE.

6. Remove jars and allow to cool. After about 15 minutes you’ll the hear the tops of the jars start popping/snapping. Allow 24 hours to pass and check the seals, the lid should not be able to pop up and down. If it does your jar did not seal. You can either retreat those jars or refrigerate them for immediate use.

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