Jam, contrary to belief, is incredibly easy to make and once you make your own, you will never go back to jam from the store. Don’t worry-not a lot of extra equipment is required, and the investment is really worth it. For some tips on canning, go to Kraft Canada and check out the very detailed, and helpful, instructions. This recipe includes fresh apricots and a vanilla bean, which gives you a sweet, rich jam perfect to use on toast or as a filling in cakes, cookies, and bars. It’s by far my favorite jam!
A word about jam recipes-follow them exactly. If you reduce the sugar, change the fruit, or change the kind of pectin, I can’t guarantee you’ll have successful results. The one thing you can do successfully without affecting the end result is omit the vanilla bean.
3 cups of fresh apricots (about 2 lbs); washed, pitted, cut into quarters, then chopped finely in a food processor.
1/4 cup lemon juice
7 cups sugar
1 pouch liquid Certo
1 vanilla bean
Sterilize five or six 500 ml glass jars and have a boiling water canner full and ready to go before you start. Heat the snap lids in simmering water and set aside, keeping warm as you proceed.
Stir the apricots, lemon juice, and sugar together in a really large pot. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, then using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and stir into the sugar/apricot mixture. Put the remaining pods into the mixture as well. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly so it won't burn.
When the jam begins to boil hard, time it for 1 minute and then remove the pot from the heat. Discard the vanilla pods. Immediately stir the Certo liquid pectin into the hot jam and stir well. Don't worry too much if there is some foam on the top. Sometimes I skim it off, but I find that it really dies back down when the jam cools a bit.
Allow the jam to cool for 5 minutes while you continue stirring. Ladle into hot sterilized empty jars, wipe the rims, then top with hot snap lids and screw the bands on until finger tight (do not force them or screw on tightly). Process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes, then take out of the canner and allow to cool to room temperature before you put on your shelf. You will hear the lids ‘snap’ as they seal. If they don’t snap, put in the fridge and use within the next two weeks.
Makes approximately four 500 ml jars of jam, but have a few extra jars ready just in case.
Adapted from Certo