Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Apricot Jam

(makes about 4 cups)
3 pounds apricots
3 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
zest and juice from one lemon
Halve apricots and remove pits, discarding all but 5. Place pits inside a folded kitchen towel and break open with a flat meat tenderizer or hammer. Save inner seeds and discard shells.
Coarsely chop apricots. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, combine apricots, seeds, sugar, lemon zest and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. Skim off foam as it rises to the surface. Stir in lemon juice. Discard seeds. If preserving for storage, ladle jam into sterilized jars. Close with snap lids and rings and process filled jars according to jar manufacturer's directions. When finished, let stand until cooled. Jars are sealed when sealer lids snap down.
Jam can also be left unprocessed and stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Simply ladle hot jam into jars and let cool completely before closing with lids.

Note: Apricot seeds add a subtle almond flavour to the jam, but are toxic when uncooked. Be sure to cook jam thoroughly. Alternatively, add five whole almonds to the cooking process.

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