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I was blessed heavily with apricots this year, and couldn’t be happier about it. While most went to the dehydrator for trail mixes, granolas, and other snacks, I absolutely had to make jam with some too!

I find that while making jams traditionally without pectin takes more time and skill, in the end it’s a lot cheaper and I can make the batches any size I want.  With this recipe, as long as I have at least 1 quart of apricots, I can start making jam.


You will need increments of:

  • 1 Quart of halved and pitted apricots
  • 1/8 Cup bottled lemon juice
  • 3 Cups sugar


Cooking & canning items needed:


Always pick the firmest of your ripe apricots to start with, and then make sure to have some that are approaching ripeness.  You can see from the picture of the pot that I put some green ones in to take advantage of their natural pectin. Because they are a low pectin fruit, I try to aim for up to 1/4 of my apricots having some green in them.  (Don’t worry, you won’t taste it when you’re done.)

Making old-fashioned apricot jam (without pectin).

Halve and pit your apricots.  If you are using larger apricots, crush them as you measure out a quart at a time.  Since mine were the small variety, I just pushed them in the quart jars as I went.  I filled them to the top.

I recommend cutting and measuring out your apricots first, and then calculating your measurements and writing them down before going any farther.  I write mine on a dry erase board.

Now measure out all your other ingredients.

After you have all of your ingredients prepared and ready to go, move on to preparing your jars, lids and rings.  (I follow the guidelines outlined in my Ball Blue Book.)  Also have your water bath canner prepared.

While your jars, lids, and rings are getting ready; pour your apricots, lemon juice, and sugar into your large pot.  (I like to run my apricots through my Vitamix first for a smoother texture.)

Heat your apricot mixture and slowly bring it to a boil, crushing your apricots as you go if you haven’t already.  Now bring it to a rolling boil while stirring constantly.  (A rolling boil is one that cannot be stirred down.)  Continue to stir until you reach your gelling point.

As I am stirring, I pull the spoon up often to test for thickness (click picture to enlarge).  Since I am not using packaged pectin, this can take a while.  Once I reach my desired thickness, I turn off my heat source.

Making old-fashioned apricot jam (without pectin).

Using a funnel and ladle, scoop your jam into your hot prepared jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Use your plastic stick to remove any bubbles, and carefully clean the rims with a clean cloth.  Place your lid (or two piece reusable Tattler lids like I use) on the top and place your prepared ring on.

Use your grabber to place each jar carefully into your prepared water bath canner and bring to a rolling boil.  (Be sure to use your water bath canner according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Mine calls for 2 inches of water to cover the tops of the jars.)

Process for 15 minutes plus your adjustment for altitude once you reach a boil.


Altitude                                                          Increase Processing Time

1001-3000 ft                                                          5 minutes

3001-6000                                                            10 minutes

6001-8000                                                            15 minutes

8001-10000                                                        20 minutes

For just under 6000 feet, we process ours for 25 minutes.


Once your processing time is up, carefully remove the heat from your water bath canner and allow everything to cool down.  Carefully remove the lid.  After 20 minutes or so, use your grabber to pull the jars out of your hot water and place on a protected surface (I use a dry towel).  Allow to cool over night.

In the morning, remove your rings and check for seal.  Clean all of your jars and rings and allow them to completely dry again.

Any jars not sealed should be put into the refrigerator and used in the next week.

Making old-fashioned apricot jam (without pectin).

A quick note:  Only you can be responsible for the food you prepare for your family, just as only I can be responsible for the food I prepare for my family. Always follow all manufacturer’s guidelines.  You are encouraged to use pH testers, and also know that substituting any ingredients affects the pH and affects the need for lemon juice and/or processing times.  I am not a professional “canner” and take no responsibility for your technique.  I follow guidelines outlined in the Ball Blue Book, and I encourage you to as well.