I’m blessed, because I live in a place where fresh fruit abounds in the summertime. We also are blessed with a climate that is perfect for growing vegetables as well. Overall, this year has not been the best we have had in our garden, but it has not been terrible either! We planted 7 rose bushes, and they have succeeded in giving me fresh roses on a regular basis, and for that I’m thankful!
I love apricots, and this summer a few weeks back, I took on the task of canning them. I took photos and am going to walk you through the process….
Step 1: Collect Apricots from either generous orchard owner (this is what I did) or farmer’s market, or wherever you can retrieve some. The key however, is that they need not be super ripe, in fact you want them to be not ripe. This allows them to retain shape through the process.
Step 2: Load dishwasher with quart size jars, and set dry cycle to high heat, then wash apricots and lay out to dry. Clean lids and rings in hot soapy water, rinse, and keep in hot water.
Step 3: Decide whether you want a light, medium or heavy syrup for your canning. I’ve used both, but medium syrup is oftentimes recommended… and make sure you have plenty of sugar on hand. Once the water and sugar are mixed, bring to a boil.
Step 4: Fill canner with enough water and turn on high heat in order to get the water boiling.
Step 5: Cut apricots in half, and remove seed.
Step 6: Take one Jar out of dishwasher at a time, and begin placing apricot halves cavernous side down. I found that using a spoon to guide the halves makes this super easy.
Step 7: Fill each jar with syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, if you aren’t sure what this means, google it and you’ll find exactly what you need.
Step 8: Using a spoon, gently compress the apricots to allow any air bubbles to escape. You can also gently tap the jars, and let the air escape. Clean the tops of the jars with a damp clean towel, removing any excess syrup. Place lids on all the jars, and secure rings on as well, but do this tightly without being over tight.
Step 9: Carefully place 2 jars at a time into the canner rack, it is important to balance the rack as you go, and to make sure that your jars have remained hot, otherwise, they will break. I had the privilege of learning this while teaching my mom to can this year. It had never happened to me, but did while she was here. Also the major disadvantage to this was that syrup was added to the canner, making the next batch impossible to can properly, because if we had emptied the canner and started over, the rest of the jars would have cooled down too much.
Step 10: Process the quarts for 30 at boiling, if the canner stops boiling start the time over.
Last and final step, remove jars carefully with a jar removal tool, and let sit on a towel for 48 hrs undisturbed. Once the jars seal, you can store them in a cool dry place.