Homemade Apricot Jam

Time: 1 hour
Yield: 5 pints
Recipe from MCP Fruit Pectin

5 pint-sized jars
New Lids
Rings
Blender or Food Processor
Wather Bath Canner
Wide Mouthed Funnel
3 1/2 pounds apricots
1/2 C lemon juice
8 C sugar
1 (2 ounce) box pectin (I like MCP)
1 t butter

1. Grab your jars and wash them in hot soapy water, or in your dishwasher. You also want to wash your rings. These can be reused from year to year. Lids, however need to be brand new. If you reuse old lids they won't seal and your jam will go bad, quickly. You want to take 5 new lids and drop them into some hot water and put them on the stove. When your jam is almost done cooking you will bring this water to a boil and let it boil hard for 1 minute. Since your hands will be busy stirring the jam while it cooks you want to get the lids ready to boil before you start cooking.
2. Wash your beautiful apricots. They are the most sweet and flavorful when they are soft and don't have any green to their skins.Carefully slice them in half and remove the pit. Place the juicy fruit in a blender or food processor. Blend them up, you will need 5 cups total. Pour the mixture into a large, heavy pot. 
3. Measure 8 cups of sugar into a bowl. 
4. Grab your pectin and sprinkle it over the top of the blended apricots. Stir it in. 
5. Add 1 teaspoon butter and 1/2 cup lemon juice to the pot. 
6. Turn the stove to medium high heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil, while you stir it. 
7. Add the sugar a bit at a time, and stir it all in making sure it dissolves well. 
8. Turn up the heat a bit and bring it to a rolling boil, while stirring constantly. Let it boil 1 minute. If it starts to get wildly boiling out of control, turn the heat off. It will still boil sufficiently with the heat off. 
9. Turn your sauce pan full of water and lids to high and let them boil for 1 minute. 
10. Remove the jam from the heat. Place a wide-mouthed funnel on top of each jar and pour the hot jam into it. Be so careful! It's really hot. :)
11. Take a damp paper towel and wipe the top of the jar, making sure each one is clean and free from the jam. This will help ensure you get a nice seal. 
12. Take a knife and carefully remove a hot lid from the sauce pan. Place one on each jar and then screw a lid around it.  
13. As the jam cools in the jar it will set up for you. When the lids seal they make a popping noise, this usually takes between 1 and 2 hours. I love that nice popping sound. Puts a smile on my face.  You can test your jars once they have cooled by pressing your finger in the center of the lid. If the lid is solid, they have sealed. If the lid has some give to it...they have not sealed. 
14. Jars that don't seal need to be processed in a water bath like this one.  I purchased this Water Bath Canner at Walmart for under $20. A few of my jars didn't seal so I pulled this baby out. You just fill it with warm water, add your jars to the rack and then lower it down into the water. Put the lid on and bring the water to a boil. I left them there in the boiling water for 25 minutes.  If your are concerned about the safety of your jam, you can process all of them in the water bath. weather they are sealed or not. 
15. Carefully remove the jars from the canner and let them cool on your counter. 
16. Store your jam in a dark cool place. Once you open a container, keep it in the fridge. 

Enjoy!

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