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How to Make Apricot Preserves; Canning

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Fruit preserves are an easy way to preserve whole fruit in a sweet syrup. Today we are going to show you how to make apricot preserves for your food storage pantry. This apricot preserve makes for a great topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, and any number of other syrup-worthy items.

The first time we made preserves … well the first time we attempted preserves we didn’t make preserves at all. To own the truth we thought preserves were just a fancy way of saying jam. Did you know there’s a difference? A rather large and chunky difference to be exact. That’s right, preserves leaves the fruit whole or at the very least in very large chunks.

In jam, the fruit comes in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit. This makes the jam less firm. In preserves, the fruit comes in the form of chunks in a gel or syrup. Preserves will have more fruit in them than jam will and it will be accompanied by a beautifully sweet syrup.

Makes: 4 half-pint jars
  1. 5 Cups Halved, Peeled, and Pitted Apricots

  2. 4 Cups Sugar

  3. ¼ Cup Lemon Juice, fresh or bottled

  4. 1/2 Tsp Butter (Optional)

Preparation to Make Homemade Apricot Preserves:

Prepare your water bath canner by filling it about halfway full with water and place it on the stove on medium heat.

Place your jars in the oven to heat up at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash and cut apricots in half lengthwise; remove the pits. Measure 5 cups of apricot halves.

Rest the Apricots:

Combine the apricots, lemon juice, and sugar in a large saucepan. Gently stir until the apricots are coated in sugar. Cover and let stand for 4 to 5 hours.

Cook the Apricots:

Add the optional butter to reduce foam. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly over high heat to the gelling point of (220 Degrees Fahrenheit), stirring constantly. (Reduce the gelling point by 2 degrees for every 1,000 feet above sea level.) Remove from heat. Skim off foam if necessary.

a nice big jam pot with a long clip-on thermometer works well for this step and help to make sure you don’t get popped with boiling apricot syrup.

The jam pot featured here is a nice big one that will work perfect even if you double your batches. And we love this thermometer.

Fill Your Jars with Apricot Preserves:

Ladle the hot apricot preserves into hot jars, leaving ½ -inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Clean the jar rim. Center the lid on the jar and adjust the band to finger-tip tight. Repeat until all of your jars are full.

Process the Jars of Apricot Preserves:

Place the filled jars into the water bath canner. Make sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 to 2 inches. Adjust heat to medium-high, cover the water canner, and bring water to a rolling boil. Process half-pint jars for 15 minutes. Adjusting processing time for your altitude.

Once the jars of apricot preserves are done processing turn off the heat and remove the cover. Remove the jars from the water bath and place them spaced out on a towel on the counter. Cool 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Label and store jars.

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