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Beautiful, orange Apricot Jelly is a homemade canning recipe that is perfect to celebrate the fresh stone fruit of summer. With only 5 easy ingredients it’s easy to make, plus canning instructions are available so you can enjoy this tangy jelly all year long.
I’m pretty excited to be posting this one! Not only because this apricot jelly turned out to be a beautiful orange color (my favorite!), but because it’s the second jelly recipe on the blog.
I have lots of canning recipes, and jams are by far my favorite to make. But when I put in the extra effort for jelly making, I love it when it turns out as clear and tasty as this one does.
If you’ve checked out my guide on Types of Home Preserves, you know I’m kind of a stickler for terms. This is a jelly, which means no lumps, chunks, seeds, or anything else. Just clear, sticky apricot deliciousness. It’s hard to say if this or my popular pomegranate jelly is my favorite these days!
The Ingredients for Apricot Jelly with Pectin
This recipe, like many pure and simple jelly recipes, is made from scratch with only 5 ingredients. You’ll need apricots, water, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin.
I should note that for every single canning recipe I make, I add a tiny pat of butter to the pot. It helps reduce foaming and I love skipping all that skimming I’d have to do otherwise. Just a half teaspoon or so is good, but it’s also entirely optional.
You can see in the picture that I made this with frozen apricots. They’re delicious ones I froze after an apricot u-pick excursion with my family, and you can definitely use frozen too. But fresh works just as well once they’re pitted and halved. You’ll need about 5 pounds of whole apricots, but there’s no need to peel them.
White sugar and lemon juice are common and essential for the pectin to work so the jelly will set. I do recommend fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
Finally we come to pectin. Apricots are a naturally pectin rich fruit, but since we’re making jelly and not jam, we’ll need pectin. This is because the pectin in stone fruit hangs out in the skin, flesh, and pits (which you definitely should not eat, fyi). When we extract the juice we need to make the jelly, we lose the pectin and have to replace it so we don’t end up with syrup. It’s really easy, a single box of regular pectin or 6 tablespoons of this bulk pectin I use will work well.
Turning Apricots into Tasty Jelly
Now here at The Flour Handprint, I love to make everything from scratch, but I’m still a mom and a businesswoman with a schedule. Tending to a jelly bag overnight with a toddler running amok is just not gonna happen. So, I take a few liberties with jelly making that make it happen a lot faster.
To start I just place the fruit and water in a large pot. I bring them to a boil and let them cook for ten minutes until the fruit mushes really easily. Give it a good mushing with a wooden spoon or potato masher to extract all the juice.
Then just pour it (Carefully it’s hot) through a fine mesh strainer to extract all the lovely orange liquid we’ll be making jelly with. You should yield about 5.5 cups of juice from the fruit and water mixture. You may have to press on the fruit in the strainer to get all the juice out.
Then give the pot a quick wipe clean, and return the juice to it. Add in the lemon juice, pectin, and if desired a tiny pat of butter. Stir frequently and bring it up to a boil over high heat.
When the juice is at a rolling boil that doesn’t stop, even as you stir it it’s ready for the sugar. Add all the sugar to the pan at once and get stirring. You don’t have to create a whirlpool or anything, just keep it moving to prevent it from scorching at the bottom of the pan.
When the mixture has come back to a rolling boil that doesn’t stop even as you stir, start your timer. This is really, really important! Cooking for too long produces thick, gluey jelly, and not long enough leaves you with thin runny jelly.
For this Apricot Jelly recipe to properly set, cook for exactly 1.5 minutes once it’s at a rolling boil, stirring continuously. When the timer goes off, remove it from the heat immediately.
Canning Apricot Jelly
I definitely don’t ever go through the trouble of making jam or jelly unless I’m water bath canning it for my pantry. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to do!
I have a Complete Guide to Water Bath Canning available with exact techniques and tips. But here’s what you need to know for this specific recipe.
- It makes a large batch, I ended up with 52 ounces of jelly. I used a combination of 4 ounce and 12 ounce jars, but you can use your preferred size.
- The water bath processing time for this Apricot jelly is 15 minutes for 12-16 ounce jars, and 10 minutes for 4-8 ounce jars.
- Once canned and sealed, it’s shelf stable for a year as long as it’s not exposed to heat.
If you’re new to canning, please do check out the guide linked above. It has everything you need to can this and many more recipes.
What we love to use It with
With tons of jars in the cupboard, you might look for something to do with it beyond your morning breakfast toast. We like to serve it with homemade bread of course, but it’s also tasty with shortbread cookies or drop biscuits. Or, try it out on this Apricot Cranberry Baked Brie or on a yummy Cheese Danish Recipe.
However you prefer to use it, I promise the tangy, sweet flavor of homemade Apricot jelly is well worth the effort. And it makes so much! Enjoy, and check out my other homemade preserves while you’re here!
- 5 lbs apricots, pitted
- 2 cups water
- 6 tablespoons bulk pectin or 1 box of sure jell, regular pectin
- 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 7 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon butter prevents foaming
- Combine the apricots and water in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.
- Cook for 10 minutes, breaking the fruit apart with a wooden spoon or potato masher.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove skins and chunks, this should yield 5.5 cups of juice. Press down on the fruit in the sieve to extract as much as possible.*
- Wipe any chunks from the pan and return the juice to it. Add in the pectin, lemon juice, and if using, butter.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, until it's at a rolling boil that doesn't stop even as you stir.
- Add in all the sugar at once, and stir continuously until the mixture returns to a full rolling boil that doesn't stop as you stir.
- Time for 1.5 minutes exactly and don't stop stirring. When the timer goes off, remove the pan from the heat immediately. If canning, proceed with that!
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.