Make a simple and delicious apricot jam without pectin with our recipe, which captures the flavor of one of the best summer fruits. You will only need three ingredients.
This is a simple recipe for apricot jam without pectin using only three ingredients: apricots, sugar, and lemon. The result: a simple, fruity, and delicious spread. Learn how to sterilize the jars needed for storing the jam, too.
I find apricot jam to be the best choice for filling crepes. You could make these French Crepes or the Polish Nalesniki Crepes and fill them with apricots instead of rhubarb compote or quark. Or make The Best Apricot Cookies using our apricot jam.
I love fresh apricots, and I take advantage of this time of the year to make not only apricot jam without pectin, but also apricot compote or low-sugar preserved apricots that need less sugar than store-bought cans.
Jump to recipe
🍑Why will you love this recipe?
- Natural taste: This apricot jam without pectin keeps the real flavor of the apricots without any added stuff.
- Easy ingredients: You only need a few simple things like apricots, sugar, and lemon juice. No complicated stuff!
- Soft and spreadable: It's soft and easy to spread on bread or crackers. It's not too thick or sticky.
- Old-fashioned way: This apricot jam is made like they used to do it a long time ago, without any fancy chemicals or machines.
- Lots of uses: You can use it in lots of different ways, like on toast, in desserts, or even in cooking.
You will only need three ingredients.
- Fresh apricots: Buy them ripe and sweet. Stone-hard, sour apricots they sometimes sell at the grocery store are to be avoided.
- Alternatively, you can make this jam with nectarines or peaches.
- Granulated sugar to sweeten the fruit and act as a preservative. It helps to thicken the jam, enhance flavor, and extend its shelf life by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and mold.
- Lemon juice: Adds acidity, which helps activate natural pectin in the fruit. This acidity aids in thickening the jam and balancing its flavor. Additionally, lemon juice helps preserve the jam by inhibiting bacterial growth and prolonging its shelf life.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
🏺How to sterilize the jars?
I've been using the same jars for years, mostly recycled ones from other products. However, I always replace the lids when they're no longer in good condition. For specially bought preserve jars, I get new lids after a couple of uses. Even if the jars have different sizes, they all require lids of the same size.
I make sure to sterilize 2 or 3 extra jars beyond what I think I'll need, just to be safe.
- Wash: Before sterilizing, wash the jars and lids thoroughly with warm, soapy water.
- Oven: Preheat the oven to 275°F/130°C. Place the jars on a baking sheet and put them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Lids: While the jars are sterilizing, boil the lids in a pot of water for a few minutes. Drain them in a colander and handle them carefully, as they will be hot.
👩🏻🍳How to make apricot jam without pectin?
Step #1: Remove the fruit stones, mix them with sugar and lemon juice, and let them stand for about 30 minutes.
Step #2: Bring to a boil, uncovered and stirring often. Once it boils, cook it for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring very often.
Step #3: Blend the homemade jam with an immersion blender or leave it as it is.
Step #4: Fill the sterilized jars directly and immediately place the lids on top.
Step #5: If desired, can the jam in a water-bath canner following the canner's instructions.
Step #6: Let the jam cool completely and check the seal before storing.
Tip: Any unsealed jars should be kept in the fridge to be used sooner.
🍋What is pectin, and do I need it to make jam?
Pectin is what makes preserves set. Some fruits and berries (like apples, currants, or plums) have lots of pectin, while others (apricots included) have less.
You could either add some pectin to help them set or use some lemon juice or rind to help with the setting process.
Adding some apple peel or a chopped apple is also a good idea; just one apple will not interfere with the apricot taste, and it will not be recognizable once the jam is cooked.
Today, the lemon juice is what helps the apricot preserve set. However, keep in mind that this particular jam is not sturdy but rather soft.
The pot: Use a large, wide pot. The fruit-sugar mixture should only come one third up the sides of the pot. If you use a tall pot with a smaller diameter, the preserves will need much longer until they are set.
Test the jam: Begin by placing a small plate in the freezer. Once you believe the preserves are sufficiently cooked, take a teaspoon of the mixture and drop it onto the frozen plate. After letting it sit for a couple of minutes, use your finger to push the mixture on the plate. If it wrinkles and doesn't flood back, it's ready. If it still floods back, continue cooking for a few more minutes and test again.
Additionally, you can observe the boiling mixture; when it thickens and becomes glossy, it's likely ready.
Protection: It's crucial to remember not to fill hot preserves into cold jars, as they may shatter. Ensure that the sterilized jars remain hot until filling to avoid this issue.
Always prioritize safety by protecting your hands and lower arms. Preserves can splatter during cooking, sterilized jars are hot, and pouring preserves into jars should be done with caution.
You can use the frozen saucer method or observe the mixture's texture and boiling behavior, as mentioned in the recipe.
Yes, you can reuse jars as long as they're in good condition and the lids seal properly. Make sure to thoroughly wash and sterilize them before each use.
If it turns out too runny, you can try cooking it for a bit longer to evaporate more moisture and thicken it.
If you don't have a water bath canner, you can still safely preserve the jam by using the oven or steam canning methods. Just make sure to research and follow appropriate guidelines for safe home canning.
Properly sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Once opened, store the jam in the refrigerator and consume it within a few weeks.
🍰Recipes using jam
Apricot Jam without Pectin
- 4.5 lbs apricots 2 kg, Note 1
- 6 cups granulated sugar 2.5 lbs/ 1200 g
- 1 lemon
- Steep apricots with sugar: Clean the apricots and remove the stones. Quarter the apricots and place them in a large, wide pot. Add the lemon juice and the sugar. Stir well and leave for 30 minutes.4.5 lbs apricots/ 2 kg + 6 cups granulated sugar/ 1200 g + 1 lemon
- Place a small saucer in the freezer.
- Cook apricot jam: Turn on the heat and bring to a boil, uncovered and stirring often. Check the time when the jam starts to boil rapidly and cook the jam for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring very often and always scratching the pan's bottom and the walls with the wooden spoon to make sure that the jam doesn't catch.
- The cooking time greatly depends on the pot you are using. The pan should be large, more wide than tall. The jam should not come more than one-third up the side of the pan.
- Test if the jam is ready by pouring one teaspoon of it into the saucer from the freezer. Let it for a few moments, then push your finger through the jam on the saucer. If it wrinkles and it doesn't flood back to fill in the gap, it is ready. When the jam is ready, it should have a slightly darker color, and the apricot pieces should be glossy. If the jam is not set yet, continue cooking for a further 2-3 minutes, then make the test again.
- Blend the apricot jam with an immersion blender, or leave it as it is (Note 2).
Sterilize the jars:
- Sterilize the jars and their lids while the jam is cooking. I needed four jars of about 400 ml/ 13.5 fl.oz, and I had a bit left over. It doesn't matter what size your jars are, use what you have, just make sure you sterilize enough of them. I always sterilize 2 or 3 more than I need, just to make sure I have enough ready.
- Preheat the oven to 275°F/ 130°C. Wash the jars and the lids very thoroughly. Place the jars on a baking tray and put them in the oven for 20 minutes. In the meantime, boil the lids in a small pot full of water and drain in a colander.
- Fill jam into jars: When the jam is ready, fill the jars directly and immediately place the lids on top. The jars should still be hot when you fill them with the hot jam; otherwise, you run the risk of the jars shattering (Note 2).
- Use a jam funnel to fill the jars. Screw the lids on top and let the jam cool.
Can the apricot jam:
- Can the jars: Place the filled jars in the prepared canner, submerging them under at least 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and process for 10 minutes (adjust the time based on the altitude of where you live) or according to the canner's instruction manual.
- Cool jam completely: Remove the canner lid and let the jars sit for 5 minutes before removing them using canning jar tongs. Place them onto a clean kitchen towel and cool them undisturbed for 24 hours.
- Check the seal once the jars are completely cool; the lid shouldn't pop when pressed. Place any jars that remained unsealed in the refrigerator and use them first.
- Store the sealed apricot jam jars in a dark cool place; they will keep for at least one year. Store any opened jar in the refrigerator and consume it within 3-4 weeks.
- Fruit: You can use peaches or nectarines to make this jam.
- Protection: Protect your hands and lower arms when blending the jam; it is very hot. Make sure you don't touch the jars once they are filled with jam with your bare hands; they are hot!