Recipe: Becky's Apricot Conserve
Ingredients5 lbs Apricots 1 1/2 lbs sugar 1/3 cup lemon juice *apricot pits Supplies Paring knife Scale Measuring cups Citrus reamer & fine meshed strainer Large, wide, shallow pot Wooden or metal spoon Ladle Funnel Lids and jars Colander *Hammer *pliers Garden gloves Dish towels, at least 2,one non-terry Jars and lids 2, deeper pots for boiling lids and jars Baking sheet thermometer *optional
Start small; when using a new recipe or fruit.
Use fruit that is ripe but not over ripe
You will need about 5 ½ lbs of whole fruit in order to get 5 lbs cut
Have everything ready to go before you begin
Use a hot-fill method not boiling water bath, to create a seal on the jars. This method can be used only for high acid foods which are most fruits, except figs.
Adding the kernel of the pit adds a wonderful almond flavor but it is optional. This of course contains cyanide in the form of amygdalin. Roasting the kernel reduces the amount of amygdalin and helps bring out the almond flavor. Eating an excessive amount of the kernels could cause illness however, the amounts we will be using (1-2 kernels per jar) cause no harm. Best not to nosh and the kernels and keep them away from children.
Use a wide pot with large surface are and only fill it ½-2/3 full. This allows quicker evaporation of the excess liquid and prevents over cooking the jam.
Turn you oven n to 300 degrees.
Check the seals of the lids, making sure they aren’t damaged and check the rims of the jars for any chips.
Wash the jars and lids with hot soapy water. Put the lids in a pot of simmering water.
Have ready your ladle, gloves (for holding the hot jars, a colander for draining the lids a clean towel, a soup spoon and funnel.
Wash the apricots
Cut in half remove pit and cut each half into quarters.
Weigh the sugar; add fruit, sugar and lemon juice to the pot. Let sit while you crack open the apricot pits
Holding the pit with the pliers with narrow edge exposed, hit the edge with a hammer until the outer shell cracks apart off the kernel. Hopefully, it is intact bit if not, it can still be used. Throw away the hard outer shell and keep the kernels. You will want 2-3 per jar.
Put the jars, right side up in the oven.
Put the jam pot over high heat and stir constantly. It should take about 15 minutes total from beginning to end. When the jam has thickened, and the spoon leaves a “trail” in the jam when stirred, it is about done.
Remove the jars from the oven.