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How to Preserve Apricots in Jars – Low-Sugar

by Adina 16/06/2017 32 comments

How to Preserve Apricots in Jars - Low-Sugar
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Last Updated on 23/03/2020 by Adina

This is the easiest, most straightforward way of preserving apricots. Not to mention it is very low-sugar.



And not only apricots, I preserve the cherries and the gooseberries growing in my garden the same way. I love this method because it is so simple, it involves the minimum amount of work and time and on top of that it uses just a little sugar.

No sugar bombs in a jar, just a hint of sweetness, giving you the freedom of using the preserves in any way you like later on, not worrying if maybe they are already too sweet or anything.


How to Preserve Apricots in Jars - Low-Sugar


The fruit softens slightly but keeps its shape and structure, the fruit remains almost as “al dente” as fresh. So all you have to do actually, is to clean and sterilize your jars, wash and stone the fruit and boil the jars for about 20 minutes.

I find this method especially suitable during the time when there are lots and lots of fruits growing in my garden, so many that I barely have the time to do more laborious work. For instance, we have this huge cherry tree, which bestows us with extremely large amounts of cherries almost every year. It takes a lot of time and work just picking the ripe cherries off the tree and there are only so many fresh cherries you can eat or bake in a short period of time.

I do freeze a few bags as well, but I find this method of preserving much better than having to work with defrosted fruit later on. So I preserve a lot of cherries, just as you can see in this post How to Preserve Cherries. And recently I thought about preserving apricots the same way as well.


How to Preserve Apricots in Jars - Low-Sugar




We do not have apricots fresh from the tree here in Germany, the climate is too cold for them, but apricots are really plentiful in Romania and this time of the year is their best time. So why not take advantage of it and preserve some of these wonderful fruit to have it during the rest of the year as well. It is really so easy and you can barely find any better in a supermarket.

Canned apricots are to be found anywhere and I buy them often enough myself, especially for making cake fillings, but the homemade version is so much better. And healthier. The fruit retains most of its original taste and firmness, the added sweetness and calories are minimal.

So, if you have an apricot tree in your garden (or your neighbor or friend does) and your pantry is already full of Simple Apricot Jam, do give these preserved apricots a try. You will probably be so impressed by the simplicity of this method, you will never try a more laborious or sugar laden one again.


The best part about preserving apricots yourself is that you can contro the amount of sugar you use. Only a couple of tablespoons of apricots per jar will do.

The preserved apricots will not be sweet, but perfect to use in desserts or cakes, where there will be sugar added anyway.


How to Preserve Apricots in Jars - Low-Sugar



You could use the preserved apricots in any way you would use them when fresh, from eating them as they are to making cake fillings with them.

You could make the Apricot Sauce from last week with these canned apricots, you could chop them into your porridge or müsli or you could serve them over strained yogurt like I did recently.

To make the strained yogurt have a look at this post: Roasted Cherries with Strained Yogurt. Or another version of strained yogurt is to be found here: Yogurt Bomb with Berries.

I will give you no quantities for this recipe for preserving apricots, there is really no need for that. You will only need fruit, as much as you have, enough jars to hold them, a bit of sugar and water. The only thing to remember is that you need 2 tablespoons sugar per jar. That’s it!


How to Preserve Apricots in Jars - Low-Sugar


How to Preserve Apricots in Jars - Low-Sugar

How to Preserve Apricots in Jars - Low-Sugar

Yield: several jars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This is the easiest, most straightforward way of preserving apricots. Not to mention it is very low-sugar.


  • apricots, as many as you have
  • large jars, about 800 ml/ 27 oz capacity
  • sugar, 2 tablespoons for each jar
  • water


Sterilize the jars:

    1. To prepare the jars preheat the oven to 130 degrees Celsius/ 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Wash the jars and the lids very thoroughly. Place the jars on a baking tray and sterilize them in the oven for 20 minutes.
    3. Cook the lids in boiling water for a few minutes. Leave to cool slightly, the apricots and the water will be cold when added to the jars.


    1. In the meantime clean, halve and stone the apricots. Place them in the jars with the bulge facing up. Add two tablespoons sugar to each jar and fill with water. Put the lid on.

    Can the apricots:

    1. Take a large pot, large enough to hold your jars without them touching each other. Place a clean, folded kitchen cloth on the bottom of the pot.
    2. Arrange the jars on top. Fill the pot with lukewarm water, about 2/3 of the jars should be immersed in water. Don't be tempted to fill the pot with hot water or the jars, which are filled with cold water, might shatter.
    3. Bring the water to a boil, then cook for 20 minutes. Take them out of the water immediately (Caution HOT) and place them on a baking tray for instance.
    4. Cover them tightly with a blanket or several thick kitchen cloths and leave them to cool slowly until the next day.
    5. They will keep in the cool cellar or pantry for at least 6 months. I still have cherries and gooseberries I have made last year and they are still good.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 jar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.



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[email protected]'s Recipes 16/06/2017 - 09:37

This is a great way to preserve apricots for the winter baking!

Ritu Ahuja 16/06/2017 - 10:48

Wow!! such a great post. I always buy dry apricots from the grocery store. This is the great way to preserve apricots. And they will taste great. Yum πŸ™‚

Brie 16/06/2017 - 13:45

I’ve never tried preserving but you make it seem so simple and the thought of almost-fresh “al dente” πŸ™‚ apricots in winter is pretty enticing too. Your photos are just gorgeous, Adina!

Chris Scheuer 16/06/2017 - 14:09

This is a wonderful and such an easy way to preserve fruit. Thanks for sharing Adina! Btw, I’m very jealous that you have a cherry tree in your backyard!!! That is awesome!

Sissi 16/06/2017 - 20:12

I love canned peaches and always choose the low-sugar version. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted canned apricots, but I like them fresh, so I’m sure I’d like the canned version too. I always love the low-sugar versions of everything!
Lucky you to have a garden and to have your own fruits!

Rod 10/01/2019 - 04:09

Great idea but you’ve neglected to mention at which point you put the kids on. Does a vacuum have to form ?

Rod 10/01/2019 - 04:11

That’s … Put the lids on…which Google keyboard insists twice to be kids.

Adina 10/01/2019 - 08:28

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I was confused about the kids for a second or two!!! It is written in the recipe that the lids come on the jars right after you have filled them. The vacuum forms while the jars are in the pot, in the boiling water.

DownUnder 16/05/2019 - 23:54

Great recipe! Tried this over summer (first time preserving fruit for me) and we are now enjoying delicious apricots on our porridge each morning during our Australian winter. I’ll be doing sooooo much more next summer!

Adina 17/05/2019 - 07:06

So glad to hear it! I am making these every summer as well. It works with cherries too. πŸ™‚

Jackie 18/06/2019 - 00:50

I used this recipe to jar about 60 apricots from my tree, just yesterday. Unfortunately, when I opened one to test them out just now (about 36 hours after completing the jarring process), they were quite bitter and unpleasant tasting. I tried several and they all tasted the same. They were not bitter apricots to begin with, so I am wondering if anyone else has encountered this problem or has any insight on what went wrong.

Adina 18/06/2019 - 11:21

Hi Jackie. I am sorry to hear that. I have been canning apricots, cherries and gooseberry like this for over 10 years now, nothing ever went bitter. Was the fruit ripe enough? Did you remove the kernels? Kernels are bitter. Were the jars properly sterilized? Did you follow the procedure? Or maybe you expected them to be sweeter, in which case you can add more sugar, if you wish. These are the questions that come to my mind now… I have just opened the last apricot jar from last summer, it is perfectly fine. As for the cherries, I still have some I canned 2 years ago and they are also good. I’ve also googled this question, but didn’t find an answer. Some say that the skin of the fruit can make the preserves sour or bitter, but I have never removed that myself and the apricots were never bitter.

Martha S. 06/07/2019 - 01:03

Dear Adina, it is a classic way of preserving fruits in countries where winters are harsh and long. It works with any fruit. I used to do it myself during summer/ fall with strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries – and a list goes long. Only amount of sugar was different – I’ve got more, like 4 tablespoons on a 1 liter jar. And amount of water was different, depends if it was for so called ‘kompot’ or for future baking purposes.
In the first case – more, in later – less.
If prepared properly you can keep it longer then 6 months.
Thanks for sharing.

Adina 06/07/2019 - 21:31

Hi Martha. I have never tried strawberries or rasperries, just apricots, gooseberries, plums and millions of cherries. I still have cherries I canned last year and the tree in the garden is full again. The sugar amount is really flexible, I like to use less whenever possible. Thank you for your comment and have a nice Sunday.

Myrna 16/07/2019 - 04:07

I’m really excited to try your method: we’re you using quart or pint size jars?

Adina 16/07/2019 - 07:51

Hi Myrna. It doesn’t matter as long as they all have more or less similar size. I think my jars are somewhere in between, about 1 1/2 pints.

Tina Shaffer 24/07/2019 - 19:28

I tried your recipe for preserving a few apricots I have. I like the method very well, however I have a question about the sealing of the jars. I ended up with 3 pint jars full and after the water bath and wrapping them, only 1 was sealed. This was after about 36 hours. I put the other 2 in the fridge thinking to redo with new flats on them. When I took them out of the fridge and touched the lid, it sunk down as if sealed. Should I leave it as is or redo these jars?

Adina 25/07/2019 - 15:54

Hi Tina. I would rather leave the jars in the fridge and eat the apricots during the next couple of weeks. It is best to use jars with screw on lids, they are more reliable than other types.

Balvinder 06/08/2019 - 17:33

I don’t have a peach tree but not apricot. Can I use the same recipe for it.

Adina 06/08/2019 - 20:53

I’ve never tried it myself, but it should definitely be possible.

Julia 18/01/2020 - 03:45

After boiling my apricots they have risen to the top and are no longer fully submerged? The last time I did this they went moldy any info regarding this?

Adina 18/01/2020 - 10:01

Hi Julia. They should definitely be submerged in water or they will go bad just like you said. Did you fill the jars with enough water? The fruit should not have the space to rise.

Heather Westphal 28/02/2020 - 16:56

Are you putting a cloth in the bottom of the pan and then adding water? This will be my first year preserving – we have a fruit salad tree in the back and the apricots will come first – and I’ve never heard of a cloth inside a cooking pot before πŸ˜… also if I have no tongs to lift out the jars what would you suggest? Should i get some?

Adina 28/02/2020 - 19:25

Hi Heather. Yes, I put the cloth in, then the jars and the I pour in the water. Grandma’s way. πŸ™‚ The jars should not come in contact with the bare bottom of the pot and should not touch each other either. If you don’t have tongs, use thick kitchen mittens or a cloth folded several times, so that you don’t burn your fingers.

Gina 29/06/2020 - 14:52

Hi Adina I just made my apricots as u wrote,but reading now comments, I noticed that I should not have any space, as my apricots have risen slightly. Did not know that I should have pushed down apricots to avoid this problem. Do u think I will have a molding problem as Julia mentioned above?

Gina 29/06/2020 - 14:54

Also made apricot jam too! Thank you for lovely and easy to follow recipes.

Gina 29/06/2020 - 15:02

Hi Adina. Yesterday I made apricot preserve and today jam . Reading some comments now just saw that I should have pushed down more apricots as they have slightly risen,do u think I will have same problem as Julia above wrote? Thank you for great and easy to follow recipes.

Adina 29/06/2020 - 21:59

Hi Gina. Thank you for the feedback. I don’t really stuff the apricots in the jars, but I don’t leave a lot of headspace either, maybe about 1cm or so. The fruit should be completely covered with water and then it should be fine even if it rises after canning. If there is enough water in the jar, they will not manage to rise above that level. I am so glad you like my recipes. πŸ™‚

Dei 30/07/2020 - 04:54

I am just in the process of doing the water bath with apricots from the farmers market. I can’t wait to see how they turn out. I only left about a centimetre of water in the jar so hopefully they do not rise much. I also put water in the pot only 2/3 up the jars. wish me luck!

Adina 30/07/2020 - 12:03

Good luck! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Dei 09/08/2020 - 23:11

The apricots I did the other day turned out amazing! Can’t wait to try them when it’s snowing outside πŸ™‚ Have you tried this recipe with peaches with skins on? Thats my next project.

Thanks for the great recipe.

Adina 10/08/2020 - 07:53

You’re welcome, Dei. Peaches work just the same.


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