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canned apricot jam, David Lebovitz

David Lebovitz's Small-Batch Apricot Jam (Low Sugar)

This delightfully simple recipe highlights and preserves all the pleasant characteristics of apricots without overwhelming with sugar.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Canning Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Seasoning, Snack, Spice
Cuisine American, Comfort Food, French, traditional
Servings 32 servings


  • heavy bottomed dutch oven


  • 2 1/4 lbs fresh apricots, pits removed and cut in quarters
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp kirsch or amaretto liqueur


  • Wash the apricots, cut them in half, and remove the pits. Cut apricots into quarters if you like smaller pieces of preserved fruit. If desired, crack open the pits with a nut cracker or hammer and place one kernel in each jam jar.
  • Place a small plate in the freezer.
  • Place water and apricots in the heavy-bottomed dutch oven and cover. Cook over medium heat until apricots are cooked through, 5-7 minutes.
  • Once apricots are cooked through, remove the lid and add the sugar, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the mixture has significantly reduced, 30-45 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The jam should look fairly thick and jelly-like.
  • Retrieve the plate from the freezer and dollop a small portion of jam on it. Return the plate to the freezer and wait for 1-2 minutes. Remove the plate from the freezer again and drag your finger through the chilled jam. If it piles up and wrinkles as your finger moves through it, the jam is ready for canning. If it's not quite ready, continue to cook over medium-low heat, testing for doneness in the same fashion.
  • When the jam is reduced, remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and kirsch. Ladle into sterilized jars. Screw lids on loosely and completely submerge jars in boiling water for 10 minutes, working in batches if necessary. Remove jars from boiling water and allow to cool to room temperature. You should hear a pinging sound as the jars seal. Alternatively, allow cooked jam to cool to room temperature and place in fridge or freezer. Jam placed in the freezer will keep up to 1 year. Jam placed in the freezer keeps up to 4 weeks.
  • Enjoy jam with toast, plain croissants, oats or porridge, yogurt, or ice cream.
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