How to Can Apricot Jam

Special thanks to Cindy and Julia, 2 awesome women with lots of canning experience. They walked me through the process, giving me lots of tips to pass along to you, plus some delicious jam and zucchini bread to take home.

This post is dedicated to all of you out there who are intimated by canning. Every time I’ve posted a recipe for something that can be canned, I get comments from readers who are scared to try it. Today we’re going to work our way through your fears in a step by step photo tutorial. At the end of this, you’ll be able to can jam like a pro!
(Do you need supplies to get started? Go to the bottom of this post to enter to win a canning kit!)

Enter to win this canning kit! Scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter.


You will need:

  • Fruit, pectin, lemon juice (depending on the recipe)
  • Jars, rings, and new lids (you can reuse jars and rings but never lids – you can buy them separately and they’re cheap)*
  • 2 big stock pots or canning pots (try looking at thrift stores and garage sales)
  • Ladle and large spoon for mixing jam
  • Thick towels to place underneath hot jars
  • Optional tools that make canning much easier: funnel, jar tongs, rack, magnetic lid lifter (you can get these at discount stores like Walmart or Target)

*Tip from Cindy: when you give away jam, keep the ring and give it with just the lid sealed on top. The rings are more expensive than the lids and you can reuse them. That’s why women in the past gave away canned foods with fabric on top – to make jars without rings look nicer! Also, jars themselves are expensive, so it’s good canning etiquette to give them back when you’re done.

Step 1: Get lots of fruit and wash it

If you have a fruit tree, you’re all set. Otherwise, hit up a u-pick farm, the farmer’s market, or your local grocery store and get some fruit.

We had a huge box of very ripe organic apricots to work with and decided to make jam. If your apricots (or other fruit) is in really good condition, you can process it whole or halved, and then have summer fruit to enjoy in the dead of winter.

Step 2: Sanitize jars and canning tools

Place jars, rings, funnel, ladle, and any other tools you’ll be using in a large stockpot. Cover with water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Alternative methods are sanitizing in a dishwasher or in an oven at 250ยฐF for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Prepare calcium water (if usingย Pomona’s Universal Pectin)

Here is a great tip from Cindy: the pectin pictured above, Pomona’s Universal Pectin, is 100% pure citrus pectin (i.e. made from citrus peels, not animal products). It’s a good choice if you are making jam for anyone who is vegetarian or vegan. It comes with calcium, which helps activate the pectin. You can find it in natural food stores, food co-ops, canning supply stores and farm stands.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of calcium to 1/2 cup of water in a clean jar. Set aside until later.

The following recipe comes from the pectin package – each pectin will be different and I recommend following the recipes that come attached to yours. You can use the general process shown here of course.

Step 4: Remove pits, slice and mash apricots

Prep the apricots by removing pits and slicing them. Put them in a big measuring cup or bowl and mash slightly. Measure as you go and add apricots to a big stockpot.

We ended up with 8 cups of slightly smashed apricots.

Step 4: Juice lemons

We used 1/4 cup of lemon juice for every 4 cups of apricots. Add juice to apricots in pot.

Step 5: Add calcium water (if usingย Pomona’s Universal Pectin)

Add 4 teaspoons of calcium water for every 4 cups of apricots and stir well.

Step 6: Bring apricots to a boil

Bring fruit to a boil. In the meantime, measure sugar and add pectin (see next step).

Step 7: Measure sugar & add pectin, then pour into boiling apricots

Using the low-sugar recipe from the pectin box, we added 3/4 cup of organic sugar for every 4 cups of apricots. It was plenty sweet, but you could add up to 2 cups of sugar if your fruit isn’t as sweet (or 1/2 – 1 cup of honey).

Using 3 teaspoons of pectin for every 4 cups of apricots, mix pectin into sugar. Once apricots are boiling, add in sugar/pectin mixture and stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to dissolve sugar. Return mixture to boil and then remove from heat.

Step 7: Pour jam into jars

Place pot on a trivet or thick towels. Using a funnel, pour jam into jars, leaving 1/4″ space at the top. Wipe the rims with a clean towel. Place lid and screw band on top. Place jars in rack.

Step 8: Process jars in boiling water

Place rack of sealed jars into boiling water for 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 feet above sea level).

Step 9: Remove from water and let cool upside down

Carefully remove jars from boiling water. Using tongs, remove from rack and turn upside down onto thick towels.
(This is an optional step. It’s a technique passed down from Cindy’s grandmother that not everyone does. Also, some people turn the jars upside down instead of boiling them, but that only works for recipes high in acid and sugar. I recommend using the hot water method.)

Let the jars sit for around 30 minutes, then check the seal by turning the jars over and pressing the middle with your finger. If the lid pops, it’s not sealed. When the lid doesn’t pop or move at all, it’s sealed. If a jar doesn’t seal, put in the refrigerator and eat it first. The food is still good, it just can’t be stored out of the fridge like the jars that did seal.

Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place. Once opened, jam should last around 3 weeks in the fridge.

Want to win this home canning kit?
Use the form below to enter by August 5!

P.S. I’m trying out Rafflecopter for the first time instead of asking people to leave comments to enter. Do you like it? Hate it? Leave me a comment and let me know!

57 Comments on How to Can Apricot Jam

  1. Wendy
    August 1, 2011 at 11:26 am (10 years ago)

    Love the new entry form!

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 11:59 am (10 years ago)

      @Wendy – great! I like it too so far. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. sarah
    August 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm (10 years ago)

    Awesome post and great giveaway! I didn’t have the best experience the first time I tried canning but I’m feeling braver already! The picture guide is really, really helpful.

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm (10 years ago)

      @sarah – that’s great! Exactly what I was aiming for – make people feel more comfortable to try canning. I hope you give it another try again soon!

  3. Valerie
    August 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm (10 years ago)

    I don’t know how i didn’t make apricot jam before, i love it !

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm (10 years ago)

      @Valerie – awesome! Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

  4. Jennifer (Delicieux)
    August 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm (10 years ago)

    I love the tutorial for canning!! Some great tips there.

    I’ve never canned but it’s a wonderful idea when you have an abundance of fruit.

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm (10 years ago)

      @Jennifer – yes, great for those with fruit trees for sure. It’s fun to go u-pick and then make your own jam too!

  5. Ann
    August 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm (10 years ago)

    I am one of the people who are intimidated with canning! My friend – who cans – says it’s easy and once you try it it’s surprising how easy….but I’m a scardey cat! Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm (10 years ago)

      @Ann – I hope this step by step guide helps you feel less scared! It’s really not that hard once you get over the fear and just try it. I promise!

  6. Stephanie
    August 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm (10 years ago)

    Love the step-by-step on canning! I will have to attempt it at some point. And I really liked the new method for the giveaway! I mayyy have to steal it for my future giveaways…hope that’s ok! Thanks, Steph!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm (10 years ago)

      @Stephanie – I love Rafflecopter so far! I’m waiting to see what everyone thinks but it seems like a super easy way to do giveaways.

  7. Lindsey@Lindselicious
    August 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm (10 years ago)

    LOL I am looking for someone to hold my hand through canning for my first time. I have a book and some tools but i need to get the pot and the rack thing! Great post!!

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm (10 years ago)

      @Lindsey – Hopefully you’ll win the contest so you can give it a try! I hope my guide can act like a hand holder for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Sandra's Easy Cooking
    August 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm (10 years ago)

    I made jam with mixed berries, and it turned out great..but apricots are one of my favorite to try this! Great recipe by the way and photos are beautiful!

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm (10 years ago)

      @Sandra – thank you! I love berry jam too and this apricot jam is great!

  9. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
    August 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm (10 years ago)

    Love making jam and canning it! It can be a lot of work and time consuming, but 6 months later when you get to open a new jar, it is so worth it!

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm (10 years ago)

      @Erin – it really is worth it! I love summer jam in the winter especially.

  10. Nick
    August 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm (10 years ago)

    Very interested, but a bit afraid of starting canning. Rafflecopter seems to be okay.

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm (10 years ago)

      @Nick – everyone’s a bit afraid at first. It’s really not that bad, just give it a try!

  11. Abbyk
    August 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm (10 years ago)

    Wow! Awesome giveaway! Thank you!

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm (10 years ago)

      @Abbyk – my pleasure! Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Rachel@Time for Good Food
    August 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm (10 years ago)

    Great post! I grew up watching my mother can and make jellies, jams and preserves, but have never tried it myself. I hope I win the canning set so I can give it a whirl! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm (10 years ago)

      @Rachel – Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Veronica
    August 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm (10 years ago)

    I love this entry form. ๐Ÿ˜› It’s convenient and simple. Good luck to everyone! โ™ฅ

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm (10 years ago)

      @Veronica – that’s great, I’m glad you like it! Good luck to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Linda
    August 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm (10 years ago)

    Great site…I could really use a new canning set…I wore mine out!

    • Stephanie
      August 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm (10 years ago)

      @Linda – thanks. Wow, you wore yours out? I’m impressed! Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Stephanie D.
    August 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm (10 years ago)

    Your jam looks tasty, I haven’t had apricots to can with since 1994. I miss them.

    • Stephanie
      August 2, 2011 at 9:16 am (10 years ago)

      @Stephanie – that’s a long time! I hope you can get your hands on some soon.

  16. Paolo @ QuatroFromaggio
    August 1, 2011 at 11:29 pm (10 years ago)

    I love making small batch of jam for immediate use, but I am also afraid of canning ๐Ÿ™‚ My mom used to make apricot jam, but hers always turned out too hard and dark — I guess it might have been the caramelization of the sugar. Is that the reason why pectin is used? BTW, great step-by-step instructions and fabulous pictures.

    • Stephanie
      August 2, 2011 at 9:21 am (10 years ago)

      @Paolo – pectin helps the jam set and thicken. I think if it turned out too dark it was cooked too long and/or processed too long at the end in the jars. Making jam for immediate use is fun but you should try canning too – there’s nothing like opening summer jam in the winter!

  17. Samantha
    August 2, 2011 at 5:59 am (10 years ago)

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway opportunity. I’ve really been wanting to get into canning, just haven’t been able to spare the start up costs as of yet. What a true blessing this would be. Good luck to everyone! : )

    • Stephanie
      August 2, 2011 at 9:22 am (10 years ago)

      @Samantha – my pleasure! Good luck to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Jenny
    August 2, 2011 at 8:46 am (10 years ago)

    Oops, seems I’ve entered twice for the facebook like – I received an error message so tried again… Other that that, the entry form is set up well.

    • Stephanie
      August 2, 2011 at 9:22 am (10 years ago)

      @Jenny – ok, thanks for the feedback!

  19. Autumn D.
    August 2, 2011 at 9:06 am (10 years ago)

    I love when bloggers use that type of form. I think they are really convenient to use. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your canning looks gorgeous. I have been thinking about making some jam lately and canning, but I’m a little apprehensive about it. One of my friends bought a canning set recently and canned salsa and gave one to me, and it turned out really well! I’ll be sure to give her back her jar with the ring!

    • Stephanie
      August 2, 2011 at 9:23 am (10 years ago)

      @Autumn – thanks for the feedback! I really like using the form so far too – it’s much easier for me as well. You should give canning a try! Maybe your friend can do it with you – that really helps the first time.

  20. Jenny
    August 2, 2011 at 10:14 am (10 years ago)

    Love this post – I really want to can this summer. Love that new way to enter mutliple times – fantastic!
    Found your blog on facebook – will check out other posts. Thanks.

    • Stephanie
      August 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm (10 years ago)

      @Jenny – welcome to 52 Kitchen Adventures! Thanks for your feedback.

  21. Russell at Chasing Delicious
    August 2, 2011 at 10:18 am (10 years ago)

    This jam looks scrumptious! This is such a helpful post too. Thanks for sharing. Fun giveaway too! *crosses fingers*

    • Stephanie
      August 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm (10 years ago)

      @Russell – I’m glad you found the post helpful! Good luck in the contest ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Veronica Gantley
    August 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm (10 years ago)

    What a great way to use up the summers bounty.

    • Stephanie
      August 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm (10 years ago)

      @Veronica – definitely! Perfect solution to too much fruit.

  23. Meanz
    August 2, 2011 at 7:26 pm (10 years ago)

    Looks delcious! I’ll have to try it sometimes. Great giveaway! Hope I win! Also, I love the entry form!

    • Stephanie
      August 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm (10 years ago)

      @Meanz – thanks for the feedback! Good luck!

  24. Cindy B.
    August 3, 2011 at 7:26 am (10 years ago)

    Love it! Great giveaway!

    • Stephanie
      August 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm (10 years ago)

      @Cindy B. – thanks!

  25. Jenny
    August 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm (10 years ago)

    Love it! Awesome giveaway!

  26. Lynn D.
    August 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm (10 years ago)

    This looks so good. I want to try canning but am also afraid to try it…

  27. Kevin
    August 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm (10 years ago)

    Great tutorial. Thanks for the opportunity.

  28. Beverly
    August 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm (10 years ago)

    Such a great giveaway. Love your blog as well.

  29. Diane Balding
    August 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm (10 years ago)

    Thank you !!

  30. Eva
    July 15, 2013 at 3:10 am (8 years ago)

    This looks great, and I will try it today! what if I don’t have Pectin? do i really need it? Can I just use some lemon juice for the acidity instead? (and only). Not sure I can get pectin where I am! thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Eva recently posted Inspiration

  31. Marije
    May 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm (7 years ago)

    Wooooow, I’d love to give my mum the canning set! I’ve never seen any set like this before, but I know that she would be very happy with it. She always spents her summer holiday on making abricot jam. She’s devodet to it and makes around 150 jars every summer, just because the whole familly loves her jam so much.. She could use some canning-help!

    Cheers from the Netherlands ๐Ÿ™‚
    Marije recently posted How to Make a Mimosa Bar in 3 Steps

  32. Shanna Riebe
    July 12, 2014 at 6:58 am (7 years ago)

    Thanks for the give away opportunity.

  33. dee
    July 31, 2014 at 1:01 pm (7 years ago)

    Going to give this ago today.


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