Friday, August 26, 2011

Apricot Nectar

 Sorry Jennifer I have taken so long to post this but canning season is in full swing at my house so everything else takes a back seat.

Apricots are a weird fruit to me.  People either like them or hate them.  

I think there is so much hate involved because if you have a apricot tree that is within a 5 mile radius of your house those "neighbors" will try to pawn their fruit off on you.  I guess we should link apricots with the quote of "if you have a apricot tree you can feed a nation" (okay not really but your entire neighborhood!).

Apricots are like zucchini in that way, there is always a million of them and you never know what to do with them because after eating them all day long for 2 weeks straight, you kinda get sick of them and nobody wants to take them off your hands.

Except me.  At least a few bucket loads because even I can only handle so much of these little beauties.

We like apricot jam a little bit at our house so one or two batches gets jamified but we L.O.V.E. apricot nectar.  Isn't it beautiful in the jar?  I love how brilliant orange it gets and it is delicious.

This is my grandmother's recipe and we grew up drinking this juice.  We always mixed it with orange juice or orange koolaid but it's totally up to your preferences, I just know that it's awesome to drink and quite easy to can (as far as canning things goes anyways...) so if you have a apricot tree near you give it a try and because in my neck of the woods people will let you have as many apricots as you want for free.  Sweet!

And if you have never canned before, read this post first.  It's a great introduction to canning.

Apricot Nectar

Apricots (a 5 gallon bucket produce about 10-12 quarts of juice)
Lemon juice
Water bath or steam canner
Canning jars, sterilized (I send them through a cycle in the dishwasher)
New lids
Chinois Strainers(we just called it a sieve growing up)

1.  Wash all your apricots and remove pits.  Put apricots in your large thick bottomed pot--very important because you don't want the bottom to burn.  For every 4 cups of apricots you put in, add 1 cup of water. Let sit at a gentle boil until apricots are very soft--I let mine sit 3-4 hours or longer.

2.  After your jars have been sterilized, fill each one with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice.

3.  When the apricots are soft, set up your sieve (or chinois) over a bowl to catch all the juice.  Gently pour several cups of the apricot/water mixture in your sieve and using the pestle push the mixture all around trying to get out as much juice as possible.  Pour juice into jar, filling up to the neck.  Dump out remains of apricots in separate bowl.  Using a wooden spoon stir juice until sugar dissolves.  Repeat until apricot/water mixture is gone.

4.  Top each jar with a lid and ring.  Process for 20 minutes according to manufacture's instructions.  Enjoy!
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