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29.7.12

APRICOT JAM



Looking at the cooked jams section of instructions inside my pectin box, it says “don’t peel” the apricots. Bad advice. The skin will be tough, chewy and tends to discolour the jam. ALWAYS, ALWAYS PEEL THE SKIN OF APRICOTS, just like you would peel the skin of peaches. Blanch the apricots in small batches for a minute and then drop them into ice water. If the apricots are ripe, the skin will just slide off. If you like fruit bits in your apricot jam, chop the fruit into large chunks, most of the fruit will fall apart during hard boiling anyway.


It is important to use sterilized jars, lids and utensils when preparing cooked jams and jellies. Jars can be sterilized in the oven at 225F for 10 minutes and should be kept warm until filling time. Lids should be placed in boiled water until ready to use.

In terms of food safety, oven processing fruit and fruit jams is no more risky than the hot water bath method. The reason for that is simple. No open cattle will reach above the boiling point of 100°C or 212°F. Keep in mind though that low acid or non-acid foods should never be processed by any other than the pressure canner method. However, oven processed fruits and fruit jams are just as safe as those processed in the hot water bath.

3 cups prepared fruit (2-1/2 lb. fully ripe apricots)
1/4 cup lemon juice
7 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
1 pouch liquid CERTO*

• Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water.
• Place the jars in 225F oven for ten minutes. Keep them in the oven until ready to fill.
• Place the jam funnel, skimming spoon and the ladle in a medium large pot and add the flat lids. Pour boiling water into the saucepan. Let stand in hot water until ready to use.
• Peel the apricots. In small batches dip them into boiling water for a minute.
• Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer them to ice water. This will stop the cooking process and the skins will just slide off.

• Remove and discard apricot pit.
• Measure 3 cups of prepared fruit into a large Dutch pot.
• Add the lemon juice and the sugar.
• Stir well and bring mixture to full rolling boil (boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.
• Boil hard for 1 whole minute.
• Remove from heat and immediately stir in 1 pouch of liquid CERTO.
• Let the jam rest for 5 minutes and then skim off foam with a metal spoon.
• Remove the jars from the oven and quickly ladle the jam into the prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops.
• Wipe jar rims and threads.
• Cover with two-piece lids.
• Screw bands tightly.
• Place the jam filled jars back in the oven for 2 hours.
• Remove jars and place upright to cool completely. Do not tighten caps.
• After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
• Yields: 6 cups jam

* Powdered pectin requires a different processing method. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using pectin.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. This is to my old on-line friends and visitors: policing the comment section for spam and answering questions has become a chore. Good wishes to you all, happy cooking and keep on feeding your people with good food.

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