I love making jam. And now that my daughter is older, it’s turning out to be a fine activity to do on days where we are both cranky and Walker isn’t coming home for dinner. She alternates between watching and talking about the hot pots, and running around and playing.
There are a lot of fiddly things about canning. I’m very careful with the sterilizing and food handling, but there are a lot of things I’m more lackadaisical with. I use the fruit I have (or can get), and just cut around the bad parts. It’s always helpful when you make jam without pectin to use a good amount of under ripe fruit, as the natural pectin is higher then, but if things get bruised, I don’t worry too much. I’m also not concerned too much if it doesn’t set enough, as I could never the freezer gel test to work consistently. If it’s a little runny, that’s fine and if it’s really runny, we just use it as ice cream sauce. I can eat a lot of ice cream.
Adapted from David Lebovitz’ Apricot Jam
9 c pitted and roughly chopped apricots
5 c white sugar
1 T lemon juice
2 T vanilla (I used powdered vanilla, but liquid would work fine)
1/2 c water
Makes 4 pints
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a large heavy bottomed, non aluminum pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat slightly or it will foam up over the sides. Add vanilla and continue to stir frequently until temperature reaches 220°. Pour into