This fresh apricot jam recipe is super simple to make and only uses three ingredients!
When apricot season arrives, one of the things on my to-do list is to make homemade jams!
Homemade apricot jam is a treat for my family, not only because it tastes better than store jams or those bought at a local market, but also because it is easy to make and can be used in the months to come.
There are different ways to use fresh apricot jam, whether for personal consumption or as a special gift to someone.
I always like canning way more than I think I need to to give away to friends and family.
It harnesses the flavors of Summer and preserves them all year long – which seems like a rare luxury.
If you want to try a homemade fresh fruit jam recipe, check out our easy-to-make recipe with just three ingredients: lemon juice, sugar, and fresh apricots.
For other jam recipes, check out:
Super Simple Apricot Jam Recipe (For Canning)
The Story of Apricots
Apricots are a stone fruit that come from medium-sized trees up to 40 ft tall.
The fruit is similar to a small peach, yellow to orange in color and often tinged red on the side most exposed to the sun.
The biggest difference between a peach and an apricot, though, is that apricots are not as juicy as peaches are.
Apparently, botanists can’t agree on the original origin of the domesticated apricot that we know today.
Some believe it originated in Armenia, some in China and some in India.
Whatever the case, apricots have been domesticated and preserved since the beginning of human civilization.
The ancient Egyptians used them as sweeteners, Alexander the Great may have introduced them to Greece, and the Persian traded them as an important commodity.
In the 17th century, English settlers introduced apricots to the East Coast of the United States, but most of our production is on the West Coast from varietals introduced by Spanish missionaries.
Reasons to Love this Recipe
This is probably one of the tastiest and easiest jam recipes you and your whole family can make together!
While there are a variety of store-bought apricot jams, most people agree that homemade apricot jams are way better than them!
Simply put, this simple recipe doesn’t contain preservatives or artificial thickeners, but they taste better!
The best part about preparing it at home is that you have total control over the quantity and quality of the ingredients you add to it!
You can also control the amount of sugar you add if you are more health conscious.
Its tangy flavor goes best with croissants and toast for breakfast and afternoon tea!
You can also enjoy this tasty jam on plain Greek yogurt, frost a fruit pie or serve with pancakes!
Can’t wait to get started?
Here is what you need:
- Fresh Apricots – the best types of apricots for homemade jams are ripe ones because of their flavor, acidity, and the amount of pectin that will help them set.
- Lemon Juice – this is an important ingredient for this recipe because they make the jam acidic, prevent bacteria from growing and contaminating your jam, and balance the sweetness of the sugar.
- Sugar – The amount of sugar you put in your jam depends on your preferences.
Sugar is an essential ingredient to add sweetness to your homemade apricot jam recipe.
It is a perfect contrast to the acids and pectin added to it.
Plus, the sweet also helps your delicious jam take hold.
Finally, as a natural preservative, sugar can extend the shelf life of jam so that you can enjoy it for months to come.
Preparing your ingredients and equipment for your homemade apricot jam recipe is as exciting as finally tasting them!
Fortunately, you won’t need any special equipment to make this recipe possible!
But of course, when you put this equipment together, first make sure it is clean or sterilized to avoid bacterial contamination.
- Glass jars – these are necessary for storing your own jam.
Choose mason jars that are airtight, well sealed and with a metal lid.
Make sure these jars are washed thoroughly in the dishwasher or by hand in hot soapy water, then rinsed well.
Metal lids should also be without rubber inserts, otherwise they will melt once in the dutch oven.
If you have a lot of empty glass jars at home, you can recycle them, but make sure the glass and metal lids are in good condition.
Glass jars that were previously used to store pickles are not ideal for this type of recipe due to the different aroma the insides of the jars can have.
- Large & Wide Saucepan – The larger and wider the saucepan, the better!
This makes it easier for the hot water to evaporate faster, giving the jam a more concentrated flavor as opposed to a medium saucepan which will tend to just boil over.
An important rule of thumb is to avoid copper, aluminum, or iron casseroles, as these types may react to the acidity of the ingredients, giving your jam a metallic taste.
- Long-handled Wooden Spoon – necessary to keep your hand away from the bubbling jam and to avoid burning yourself.
Also avoid using a metal spoon.
These 3 are exactly what you need to start this easy apricot jam recipe.
Before proceeding with the procedures, first preheat your oven to 130 degrees C (270 F) and leave the jars for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Gather your fresh and ripe apricots and wash them thoroughly with water then dry them.
- Cut each apricot in half and remove the stone.
- Transfer the sliced apricots to a large pot containing your lemon juice and a small amount of water.
- Heat apricot mixture over medium-high heat and wait for it to simmer.
This will allow the fruit to release its liquid as the temperature rises.
Don’t forget to cover your pan so that the liquid does not evaporate.
- Apricots will more likely soften after 10 minutes, and when that happens, remove the lid and slowly pour sugar into the mixture.
- Stir the sugar frequently until it dissolves completely in the mixture.
- Once a lot of sugar has dissolved completely, increase the heat to bring the mixture to a full boil.
Be sure to stir frequently so you don’t get the jam to the bottom of the pan.
If you see scum on the surface of the jam, this is normal and there are ways to get rid of it.
- Continue to stir your mixture for about 20 minutes.
- After about 20 minutes, test the set point using a “wrinkle” test.
This is done by taking a small amount of hot jam and putting it on a cold saucer.
Let cool for a moment then push the outer edge of the jam towards the center with your index finger.
If the jam wrinkles, even a little, it will harden.
If the jam has not reached the setting point, boil it for another 3-5 minutes, then test again.
- If the jam is ready, remove it from the heat and let it stand for about 10 minutes.
This allows for an even distribution of the pieces of fruit in the jam.
The reason you don’t transfer the jam to the hot jars right away is that this will cause the fruit to rise to the top of the jar.
But make sure you don’t exceed 10 minutes.
In fact, it is preferable to bottle the jam while still hot for better preservation.
To transfer your jam to your newly sterilized glass jars, ladle them up and place lids to seal them immediately.
Tips for Success
If it’s your first time to make homemade apricot jam, you can make it perfect by following these tips:
- Choose only fresh, quality, ripe apricots.
Good quality apricots are those with firm skin, which contain added pectin, which will give better results.
Overripe or bruised apricots will not only give your jam a different taste, but also most likely cause it to spoil.
You can also include slightly ripe apricots for their sour taste and pectin content which will help with setting.
- Use lemon juice to increase acidity and pectin, especially when using only slightly ripe apricots.
- Don’t forget to add less sugar, in your preferred amount, to help the sweetness of your jam, preserve it and help set.
Shelf Life of an Apricot Jam Recipe
If you have carefully followed the recipe instructions for apricot jam making and place jars at room temperature or in a cool dark place, you can enjoy it for a year or more.
Be sure to refrigerate once opened and remember to spoon it with a clean utensil to avoid contamination.
For more canning recipes check out:
If you’d like to learn more about how to can the right way, check out my friend Melissa’s Home Canning with Confidence course!
- 2 1/4 pounds fresh apricots
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Remove the pits from the apricots.
- Simmer the apricots with the water, covered, stirring frequently, under the apricots are tender and cooked through.
- Add the sugar to the apricots and continue to cook, uncovered, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Stir frequently to prevent it from sticking.
- After it looks like it's thickened, place a spoonful of it in the freezer for a few minutes. The consistency after a few minutes in the freezer will be it's finished consistency.
- Once it reaches a thickness you like, add the lemon juice and stir to combine.
- Ladle the jam into sterilized canning jars