Apricot jam. Fresh and wonderful, and better than even the poshest versions you can buy!
Damn Fine Home Made Apricot Jam
I first wrote this apricot jam recipe in July 2019, and updated it in June 2021
This wonderful apricot jam recipe makes six beautiful jars of jam. It has a delightful fresh flavour, I’m sure I can taste that lemon juice!
Apricot is Mike’s favourite jam, so is well worth making for us. When I priced it up for this post, I couldn’t believe how cheap it worked out to be. Obviously, getting the apricots on Super 6 helped a lot, but it is still much cheaper than buying premium jam even without that. Mike likes Bonne Maman, so the really expensive stuff.
And premium jam is what this tastes like. It’s a Mrs Beeton recipe, and one I have been making for a huge number of years.
If you like to make gift hampers for Christmas or any other occasion, a jar or two of this would be a very tasty addition. You could also include a jam or two from later in the summer – Blackcurrant Jam perhaps, or maybe this rather wonderful French Apple Jam, fragrant with cardamom
What is the recipe?
It contains very few ingredients. Just fresh apricots, sugar, lemon juice and a little water. That’s it
The apricots can be at any stage of ripeness and they will set into jam.
How To Make Apricot Jam
Cut the apricots in half and remove the stones. Put them in a really big pan, not non-stick, the hot sugary mix will ruin the finish.
Add a little water and simmer until the fruits have broken down.
Now add the sugar, stir until dissolved, then boil hard until setting point is reached.
If you have a thermometer able to measure high enough, it should set when it reaches 105c/220f. Just keep simmering until it’s ready, but, on the other hand, don’t simmer more than necessary, or the lovely fresh flavour will gradually be lost. Or put a little on a cold saucer and place in the fridge. If a skin forms and wrinkles when you push it with a finger, it is ready.
- 1 kg apricots 3 punnets at 49p each, £1.47
- 1.4 kg sugar 59p/kg, 82p
- 3 tblsp lemon juice, and the zest too if you like 45ml, lemon juice, 250ml/39p, 7p
- 1 tblsp butter
- Rinse the apricots, then halve and destone them. Slice them and put in a large saucepan able to tolerate very hot temperatures. You don't need a preserving pan if you haven't got one, but the saucepan must be thick bottomed or your jam many catch and burn.
- Add a quarter pint / 140ml water and the lemon juice. Cover, bring to the boil, and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until the fruit is well broken up. You may need to mush it up a bit, once the sugar is added, the apricots won't break up much more.
- Once the fruit is softened, add the sugar, bring back to the boil and simmer quite hard, with the lid off, until setting point is reached
- You can test this by putting a teaspoon of jam on a cold saucer and putting it in the fridge for a couple of minutes. If it's ready, it will have formed a skin in that time and when you push it gently with a finger you'll see that skin.
- If you have a thermometer able to measure high enough, it should set when it reaches 105c/220f. Just keep simmering until it's ready, but, on the other hand, don't simmer more than necessary, or the lovely fresh flavour will gradually be lost. click here to start a 30 minute timer
- While the jam is simmering, sort your jam jars out. I had already washed them, so popped them in a low oven to sterilise them. Some people use jars fresh from the dishwasher. Whatever you do, they need to be very clean, and dry. Any water in the jars allows a sugar syrup to develop, and over time, that may well grow mould, spoiling your lovely jam. And they need to be scrupulously clean so your jam will keep well, there must be no germs, bacteria or mould spores at all in the jars. And don't forget the lids. If you are not using lids, cover the jars with cellophane circles and elastic bands. Or use circles cut from cereal box inners and perhaps a pretty ribbon. A little gingham fabric looks fabulous. Anything that will keep the jam clean and dry will do the job.
Storing your jam
- Once the jam is ready to set, stir in a generous knob of butter. Stir well. Put your jars on a heatproof surface and carefully ladle in the jam. Be careful, splashes will burn you badly at this temperature.
- This batch should yield 6 jam jars full and a little leftover. I usually put a very clean tea towel over the filled jars until they are just warm and only then put the lid on. The tea towel is to keep any mould spores in the air, off the surface of the jam.Or sometimes, when the jars have just been filled, once the lids are securely screwed on, I flip them upside down for a couple of minutes
Got a great recipe? How about submitting it to appear on Thrifty Lesley!
Thank you for your wonderful web site. This jam looks lovely, I’m going to definitely try it.
Just to let you know the link to Print doesn’t work, it just takes me to the Home Page.
I put the lemon juice in with the fruit while it is softening. It’s in the recipe to help with the set
Edit: sorry, this said ‘isn’t in the recipe’ before. Autospeller ‘helped’ me!
Hello When do you put the lemon juice in the apricot jam?
Enjoying my first visit to your site.
It does reach setting point very quickly doesn’t it. When you have to boil jam for ages you lose so much of the fresh fruit flavour
Lovely recipe, I am alway a bit nervous about when a set is reached, with this recipe, it took about12 minutes at a rolling boil. It is a lovely colour , very pleased with it.
I’ve always put a wax circle on the boiling jam and then the lid straight away. Lovely recipe and I wish I’d bought more apricots
Angela – oooh, what a lovely gift, and all those beautiful jars lined up!
Diane – yes, know what you mean. Want to go round dispensing hugs. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be involved in the Grenfell Tower fire and it’s aftermath
Dirtgirl – tipping them over sounds a good idea. I’ll have to try that. I’ve always done the tea towel method ever since I put the lids on straight after pouring in the jam, and the steam made a watery bit at the top which went mouldy
If you are an enthusiastic jam maker it is worth asking at a market or a greengrocer/fruiterer shop if you are lucky enough to have one what the price of a box of whatever you need is,and what the best ie cheapest week is to buy them. For a church picnic in Northumberland a couple of years ago I got a 5kg box of sweet cherries for £7.00 and was told the week before they would have been £2.00 retailing in the shop for 75p per quarter ie 4oz or just over 100g…
I was given 7lb of apricots today, spent my afternoon jam making too. Very satisfying!
Thanks for this beautiful recipe. Making some jam right now feels like a small bit of soothing relief in the midst of all that is happening in our two countries. Wish I could make enough jam to give to every survivor (and their families and friends) of that awful fire so that they would all feel a little bit of love and have the energy to continue to raise their voices in protest.
Will hang onto this recipe & use in our Summer season when Apricots are plentiful. (Currently Winter here.) The jam looks delish & I can visualise it on a slab of homemade bread. I see you too use the wonderful Bonne Maman jars, they make the produce look even better.
I will take on board your tip about putting the tea towel over the jars. I have always filled the hot jars, put lids on and then tipped jars over until they are cool. I have never had moulds on any of my preserves using this method. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.