It is that time of year, the time of APRICOTS! The apricots are in full swing here! There are some trees still green, and some that we have been able to pick and enjoy! My boys eat these apricots like candy! They love them! We have wonderful family and friends that give us their apricots because there are so many on their trees!
What do you do with all of them?
Here is what I do!! I make apricot nectar and bottled apricot halves, apricot jam and apricot leather! We get to enjoy them all year round! A lot of people are a little intimidated when it comes to bottling food. Honestly it is easier than it looks, and hopefully this post will give you the confidence to try it yourself!
READ THIS POST on CANNING TIPS AND TRICKS to help you out!
Here are the instructions for Apricot Nectar
You will need:
- Hot water Bath
- Blender (I use the blendtec which is one of my favorite purchases)
- Large Pot
- Another Pot (can be small but will be better if its bigger)
- Lemon Juice
- Quart Jars (If you buy your jars new, they come with the lids and rings already)
- Sealing lids
- Rings (This product comes with rings and lids)
- Jar lifter and Funnel (In canning these 2 things I use ALL of the time!)
Step #1 – Have your kids pit the apricots. I love kid labor! Gives them the opportunity to feel like they are contributing! At this time get out your Hot Water Bath and fill it 3/4 full of water and start warming up the water. This will make the processing time a little faster.
Step #2 – Wash the pitted apricots in a strainer or just in your sink.
Step #3- Fill a big pot of apricots and fill a quarter of the pot with water. You don’t need to cover your apricots with water to soften them, they produce some juice. Just feel the pot a quarter of the way up and place a lid on top. Turn it on medium high and let them soften up a little big. They will be a little mushy which is great.
Step #4 – Use a spoon or ladle with holes in it and scoop the apricots into a blender. I add a little water from the pot and then blend it til smooth! I have a Blendtec Blender which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. It is such a great blender. I used to make nectar from a Victorian Juicer which you have to crank by hand. The Victorian Juicer would separate the skin from the juice, but the Blendtec blends it all together REALLY WELL. I can’t even tell there is any skin in it, and leaving the skin in makes it HEALTHIER! Its faster, easier and healthier! WIN/WIN! SO GREAT!
Step #5 – This next step will be different for everyone depending on the size of pan you have. For every quart (4 cups) of nectar add 1 TBSP of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of sugar. My pan only held 12 cups of nectar so I put in 3 TBSP of Lemon and 3/4 cup of sugar. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice and stir for a little bit to dissolve the sugar.
Step #6 – Pour nectar into quart jars using a funnel, leaving some space on top and clean the top rip with a clean rag. Run your finger around the rim to maker sure there is nothing on the rim.
Step #7 – Place sealing lid and ring on your jar.
Step #8 – Place your quart jars in your hot water bath. Make sure they are covered with water by an inch of water. Once you start seeing steam come out of the 3 little holes you can start timing. Because your nectar is hot, you can cut the process time down a little bit.
Step #9 – Process them for 20 minutes PLUS the added needed time for elevation. The higher elevation you are the longer it takes to process. I live at 6,000 ft so I added 10 minutes, making my process time 30 minutes.
Step #10 – After the time is done, take the jars out with your jar lifter and place them on your counter to cool. Enjoy looking at all of your hard work. This is my favorite time! You will begin to hear little “POP” sounds. This sound is music to my ears! This means your bottles are sealing and you did a fabulous job!
This is concentrated apricot nectar. I do it this way so it doesn’t take so many jars to fill up. Less jars = less space it takes up. You can add water to your desired thickness. We put in 1/4 quart jar of water and some ice to every jar of nectar. My husband likes to add a little more sugar to his. You can decide what your apricots need.
I have been canning for a long time, and every year I always have a jar or 2 break during processing. Don’t worry just throw it out! It is nothing you did wrong, there may have been something wrong with the bottle. After the jars have cooled for 24 hours on your counter, wipe them down and and ENJOY!