This homemade apricot jam only requires two ingredients, yet packs more flavor than any store-bought variety you can find. In addition, you’ll learn the ins and outs of canning (spoiler alert: it’s easier than you think).
This recipe for apricot jam couldn’t be more simple. With just two ingredients, you’ll have enough jam on hand for months. If you’re feeling generous, you could even share a few jars. What a great friend you are…
Homemade jams were a staple in my home growing up. Canning was an excellent way for my mother to preserve fruits so we could enjoy them year-round. Today, it feels almost surreal that we can get nearly any fruit – no matter what the season – in the produce aisle of the grocery store.
You may feel intimidated about treading into the world of homemade jams, but fear not! By the time you get through this recipe, you’ll feel confident about your canning skills and utterly surprised at how easy the process is. Plus, you’ll have a new money-saving skill in your back pocket and the best charcuterie spread on the block.
Now it’s time to put those fresh apricots to use! Let’s get started.
How to Make Apricot Jam
If you can boil fruit, you can make apricot jam. It’s that simple. Below, find a brief overview of the recipe before you dive in.
- Prepare the Apricots: After you wash the apricots, cut them into halves and remove the seeds. Place them in a large pot and cover them with sugar. Allow apricots to sit overnight in the refrigerator to produce a nice, sweet juice.
- Boil the Apricots in Heats: Once the apricots have sat overnight in sugar, boil them in their juice, stirring now and again to prevent burning. Once boiling, turn off the heat and let jam cool for a bit. Repeat this process 5-7 more times to thicken the jam.
- Mash the Apricots (Optional): If you like a smooth jam, mash the apricots with a potato masher. If you don’t mind the chunks, leave it as is.
- Can the Jam: See instructions below…
Golden Tip: You can use this same process for any fruit jam. Try it with strawberries or cherries!
How to Can Apricot Jam
Canning your apricot jam is a no-brainer. Follow the full-proof sterilization steps below and rest assured that you will have great tasting jam that is safe to eat. If you haven’t already, invest in a set of canning jars.
- Sterilize the Jars: Preheat the oven to 275°F. Thoroughly wash the jars and lids with soap and water. Place them in the oven for at least 20 minutes, or until they are completely dry.
- Remove and Fill Jars: Bring the jam to a final boil when the jars are about 5 minutes out from being fully sterilized. Using an oven mitt, remove the hot jars. Place the hot jam into the jars.
- Seal and Flip Jars: Using an oven mitt, cover each jar tightly with a lid. Turn the jars upside down for an hour to complete the sealing process. Store jam in a cool place, such as your pantry or cupboard.
Tips for the Best Apricot Jam
- Cook jam longer if you like it on the thicker side. The more you boil and cool the jam, the thicker it will become. Keep in mind this also means you will get less jam since more liquid evaporates with each boiling round.
- Use a kitchen timer to remind you when to take the jam off heat. Since you will be doing several rounds of boiling, set a phone or kitchen timer to remind you when it’s time to remove the jam from heat and start the process again. Each boiling round should take 10 minutes and each cooling round should take 5 minutes.
- Freeze jam if you don’t go the canning route. If you choose not to can your jam, freeze it in airtight containers.
- Follow the sterilization process for longer-lasting jam. When canned properly, the jam will last for a few years. Don’t skip any steps and make sure your jars are completely dry before you pour the hot jam into them!
- Flip the jars while the jam is still hot. When hot jam comes into contact with the lid, it helps to seal it.
- Store jam in a cool place. Keep your canned jam in a cool place, out of direct sun.
Ways to Serve Apricot Jam
There’s also a ton of great cakes and cookies that call for apricot jam – another great reason to have a stockpile in your pantry! Apricot farmer’s cheese cake, kolaczki (Polish cookies), thumbprint cookies, and meringue sugar cookies are all great recipes to put your jam to good use.
Do I need to peel apricots?
You do not need to peel your apricots to make jam. The peel cooks down naturally and blends into the jam seamlessly.
Can you lower the amount of sugar in jam?
You could lower the sugar slightly, but it’s not recommended. The sugar helps to create the boiling syrup and elevates the flavor of the fruit.
Do you need pectin to make jam?
You do not need pectin for this recipe. Some like to use pectin to hold the jam together, but this jam is additive-free and all-natural.
Will my jam thicken as it cools?
Your jam will indeed thicken as it cools. The more it sits at room temperature in the jar, the thicker and more flavorful it will become.
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- 5 lbs apricots
- 1 qt cane sugar (about 1.75 lbs)
- Rinse apricots, cut them in half, and remove the seeds. Place apricots into a large pot. Cover them with sugar and pop pot into the fridge overnight. As the apricots soak in the sugar, they will product a juice.
- The following day, boil the apricots. Turn off the heat and allow jam to cool completely. Repeat the process 5-7 more time, or until you reach the desired thickness. As it boils, stir the jam occasionally to prevent burning. While your jam is cooking, sterilize your jars to prepare them for canning. Preheat oven to 215°F. Wash the jars and lids with soap and water. Place jars directly on the oven rack. Allow them to bake for 20 minutes, or until they are completely dry and free of water droplets.
- Once you bring your jam to its last boil, add piping hot jam directly into the hot, sterilized jars. Make sure to use an oven mitt when handling the hot jars! Optional: Use a potato masher to remove any lumps from your jam before adding it to the jars.
- Cover each jar with its respective lid. Turn the jars upside down and let them sit at room temperature for an hour. Store jars in a cool place.