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Apricot Jam Making Question

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Sal Vanilla Aug 4, 2010 12:36 PM

I am getting ready to make jam out of some frozen blanched apricots (stored in lemony simple sugar).

Because I have stored them in lemony simple sugar I am not sure how much lemon and sugar I have in each block of apricots.

My question is - do the ratios of lemon and sugar in apricot jam really make a huge difference? I mean will it not preserve because my ratios are screwed up or is a bit of fudging not all that important. I will be canning it in glass gars for the shelf.

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    Shaw Oliver Aug 4, 2010 12:44 PM

    You mean simple syrup?

    I would defrost and remove the apricots from the syrup before starting the recipe. I'm not sure if that's exactly what you're asking (?).

    4 Replies
    1. re: Shaw Oliver
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      Sal Vanilla Aug 4, 2010 01:03 PM

      Yes. Sorry. I am a little daft today. More than usual daft.

      I am of course defrosting. My problem is that they have been stored in my freezer in simple SYRUP and lemon. Two of the other components of jam. I am unsure how much sugar is in the syrup and how much lemon is in there. I froze it a while ago so the quantities are not readily at hand. So I am wondering if the ratios and quantities really matter when canning? Will I still have edible jam a year later or will I be wasting the fruit because the ratio is wrong.

      1. re: Shaw Oliver
        bushwickgirl Aug 4, 2010 01:04 PM

        "defrost and remove the apricots from the syrup" Remove=drain.

        I'm reasonably sure that's what the OP is asking, as jam making usually includes weighing the fruit and sugar in a 1:1 ratio, or someting around there. So, what you suggested is what the OP should do.

        Edit: I have just read the OP's response. I don't think t's going to matter that much, if the simple syrup and lemon is drained. Ratios normally do matter when using pectin, but if you drain your fruit, you'll get a reasonable facsimile of the proper ratio and probably a very good jam. Taste will tell.

        Lighter colored jams keep for about a year, given a proper seal and proper storage (cool, dark, dry).

        1. re: bushwickgirl
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          Sal Vanilla Aug 4, 2010 02:53 PM

          You know what - I think I needed to hear (read) your post. Reasonable facsimile. Yep. As long as I do not kill my loved ones I am in good shape.

          1. re: Sal Vanilla
            bushwickgirl Aug 5, 2010 12:25 AM

            I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but the reasonable facsimile I was referring to is for the proper fruit to sugar ratio in your jam, given that you have it packed in simple syrup; I was not at all referring to safe food preserving methods, like viable seals and proper storage; by following jam making guidelines and techniques, the likelihood that your jam will kill anyone is slim to none.

            I was thinking of the last time I made apricot jam, must have been 8 years ago; there was an apricot tree on my block in Brooklyn at the time which had rather small tart apricots, great for jam. I did not use any pectin; the jam set up nicely without it.

      2. Jen76 Aug 4, 2010 01:10 PM

        Use a low sugar/no sugar pectin and it won't matter. You can even use the syrup they were stored in then.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Jen76
          bushwickgirl Aug 4, 2010 01:15 PM

          Excellent advice!

          1. re: Jen76
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            Sal Vanilla Aug 4, 2010 02:52 PM

            I have never used pectin. It is to gel things right? I have never canned fruit that required it.

            1. re: Sal Vanilla
              Jen76 Aug 4, 2010 03:36 PM

              I, personally, like using powdered pectin. You don't have to cook the fruit as long so it seems brighter both in appearance and flavor (to me). The no/low sugar variety will help your fruit gel without using so much sugar. You can use as much or as little sugar as you like (or you can use grape/apple juice or artificial sweetener). I found we like the flavor of a batch of jam made with 3 cups of sugar. I also like no cook freezer jam made with freezer pectin - especially strawberry. It has amazing flavor.

              1. re: Sal Vanilla
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                morwen Aug 4, 2010 07:40 PM

                Low/no sugar pectin is my pectin of choice too. Very easy, very quick, no overcooking the fruit and turning it into candy (which is what pectinless jams and jellies taste like to me), and no worries that the jam won't set up. Just follow the instructions (in my case they're more like guidelines) in the box, combined with your common sense and what you already know about your fruit (lemony simple syrup) and you should have no problem.

            2. chef chicklet Aug 4, 2010 05:28 PM

              One little tip I learned and you all probably already know about this, is that if you cook the fruit down first really well, that sometimes you don't need as much sugar. The fruit can set up on its own pectin, and that's achieved by letting the fruit cook down. Me and my dumb luck! I don't know when why or what, or if I'd read that somewhere else before, but I've always done that and been pretty successful with my jams. Most recipes read to add the sugar and fruit at the same time.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chef chicklet
                Jen76 Aug 5, 2010 11:20 AM

                Yeah, I guess I just don't like my fruit cooked down so much unless I want it to be really concentrated in flavor. It seems (to me) like it loses some of its "brightness" when it's cooked a long time. Just my preference.

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