Apricot season is still going off. And I’ve had some in my fridge that are starting to get soft. And what is the best thing to do with soft or almond bad fruit? Make jam of course! Pie is also a good idea, but jam is always a good idea as it lasts way longer than pie.
When you have bruised fruit or fruit that is starting to go bad, then making jam is the perfect solution for it. What is the difference between jelly, jam, and preserves? All three are made up of fruit and sugar to create a sweet spread you can use on toast or in baked goods, but the consistency of them is all different. So, I will break it down for you. Jelly is the most smooth and is made from fruit juice, which is how it achieves its smooth consistency. Jam is made from crushed or chopped fruit. And preserves are made from chunks of fruit, therefore leaving more pieces of fruit in the finished product.
I usually make preserves or jam, as those are easy to make with fresh fruit on hand and less effort. I decided to make Apricot Jam today because the apricots are larger and I didn’t want super large pieces in it (as would have been the case with preserves) as I plan to make cookies with this Apricot Jam!
Apricot Jam is so easy to make, you only need 3 simple ingredients: apricots, sugar, and lemon juice. What does the lemon juice do in jam? The lemon juice is used in low acidic fruits to help set the jam. Because apricots are a low acidic fruit, the lemon juice will help set this jam up so it doesn’t fall out of thumbprint cookies, or run off your toast, and is a nice spreadable consistency. Basically — science. My least favorite subject in school, but one that has become more prevalent in my daily life as a baker haha.
But, if we’re being honest – I have made jam with low acidic fruits before with no lemon juice and as long as you cook them down enough, they will be fine! But, there is another reason for the lemon juice, one that I think is even more important than texture. The lemon juice will act as a natural preservative and prevent bacteria from growing, therefore allowing you to keep your jam longer in the fridge.
But, hey, I’m all about transparency. And have I made jam before without lemon juice? Yes. Was it fine? Yes. Have I also made jam without lemon juice and then found it moldy in the fridge? Also yes. If you’re going to eat all this amazing Apricot Jam within a day or two, and you cook it down enough, lemon juice isn’t needed in my opinion. If you’re going to make this Apricot Jam and gift it to your neighbor, you should definitely add the lemon juice!
Makes 6 ounces
8 ounces organic pitted and diced apricots
57 grams (1/4 cup) organic cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon organic lemon juice
Add apricots, cane sugar, and lemon juice to a medium pot. Cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Turn the heat to high and boil for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat back down to medium/low and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the consistency is thick. Transfer to a glass jar and let cool to room temperature.
Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
High Altitude – Follow the recipe as noted.