Easy Instructions For Canning Fresh Apricots ~ Apricots are one of the easiest fruits to can. It is even easier with these simple to follow instructions!
I love fruit! It is my favourite food group! I especially love all kinds of summer fruit including cherries, peaches, plums, pears and apricots. Unfortunately, the summer season is only so long and once it is over you have to wait till next year to enjoy these summer favourites again. Canning summer fruits is the next best thing so they can be enjoyed all year.
It is true that canning fruit can be a bit labour intensive and time consuming. It takes some time to prepare the jars and the fruit. Depending upon how much fruit you are canning it can take a couple of hours or a half day. Each type of fruit has to be prepared differently. Some have to be peeled, pitted and/or chopped. Apricots are one of my favourite fruits to can because they do not have to be peeled and it is easy to remove the pit when cutting each one in half.
I have been canning apricots for years. The entire family love the taste. They are only about 50 calories each and they are high in vitamin A and C as well as loaded with beta carotene and fibre. They can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch and as a snack or a dessert. When my daughters were babies I never bought canned baby fruit. I just pureed apricots that I canned myself.
It was my mother-n-law who taught me the easy instruction for canning fresh apricots that I am sharing with you today. My ‘n-laws used to live on a property that had several kinds of fruit trees. The day before we planned to can apricots we would go out to the two apricot trees and pick ripe apricots to eat as well as to can for later eating. The property has since been sold so I now buy my apricots at the fruit stand.
I use a boiling water method for canning which is very easy. A bit of sugar is added to each jar. This is necessary for not only adding flavour but it also helps keep the fruit’s pretty orange colour and a firm form. One year I cut way back on the sugar and the results were not pretty. The apricots turned a brown colour and became mushy looking.
If you have not canned before or have done very little canning, apricots are a good fruit to start with. Here are my…
Easy Instructions For Canning Fresh Apricots
Before Getting Started
I am hesitant saying how many apricot halves go into a mason jar. There are so many different kinds and sizes. My tip for you is if the apricots are a small to medium size can them in pint-size jars and if they are a medium to large size can them in quart-size jars. The apricots I bought this year were a medium to large size. I canned the medium sized ones in pints and the larger ones in quarts. Both size of jars ended up having about 12 – 14 halves per jar.
Preparing The Canner
Fill the canner about two thirds full of water. Place on the stove with the lid on and bring to a boil. If the water has boiled before the jars are ready turn the heat down to low or if you feel you need a lot more time turn the burner off.
Preparing The Mason Jars
You will want to start with not only clean but sterile jars. My method is to wash the jars in the dishwasher the day before I know I am going to use them. Then I boil water in the electric kettle and in a big pot on the stove. I use this water to fill each jar with boiling water and let the water sit for about five minutes before emptying the jar. This step is completed with the jars in the sink and completed while the fruit is being prepared.
TIP: Use wide top mason jars compared to the ones with a narrow top. The wider jars are easier to fill.
Preparing The Snap Lids
Make sure you have the correct size snap lids. I have used the Bernardin brand (not sponsored) for years. Read the instructions on the lid box because each company has different methods for preparing the snap lids before they are placed on the filled jars.
My method for preparing the snap lids is to fill a small saucepan about one third full of water and bring it to a boil. Turn the water off and place the required number of lids inside the water. Make sure the lids are separated with the rubber side of the lid is facing upward. Cover the saucepan with its lid and set the timer for five minutes. This step loosens the rubber and heats up the snap lid.
TIP: I do not add the snap lids to the boiled water till after the jars have been filled with the apricots. This way I know exactly how many snap lids to get ready. When I am close to having all of the jars filled I bring the water back to a boil.
IMPORTANT: Snap lids can only be used once. I put the used ones in the recycle bin.
Preparing The Screw Bands
Make sure you have the correct size of screw bands. They need to be clean but not completely sterile as the inside of the canning jars. All you need to do is have them ready to screw onto the filled jars.
TIP: Screw bands can be used year after year!
Preparing The Boiling Water
Fill the electric kettle and/or a large Dutch oven with water and bring to a boil. This is the boiling water that will be added to the jars filled with apricots. If this water comes to a boil before you are done filling the jars, either turn down the burner to low or turn it off.
Preparing The Apricots
Fill a clean sink with water and dump the apricots in the water to give them a good rinse.
Set up a large bowl for the cut fruit, a smaller bowl for the apricot pits and discarded fruit.
Have handy granulated white sugar and measuring spoons.
Cut each apricot in half with a paring knife.
Cut away any large blemishes.
IMPORTANT: Small marks and blemishes on the apricots will disappear after being processed in the canner.
Filling The Canning Jars
To avoid excessive floating fruit after processing and to get as many apricots in the jar as possible place each apricot half with the inside face down. Then gently stack the rest of the apricots in the same direction trying to fill up any spaces.
When the jar is about half full sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of sugar over top of the fruit if you are filling up quarts. Use about a heaping teaspoon of sugar if you are filling up pints.
Continue to fill the rest of the jar with apricots till you reach the point where the rim of the jar begins.
TIP: I like to work on filling four to six jars rather than one jar at a time.
REMINDER: As you get close to having your jars filled with fruit reheat the boiling water for the snap lids, filling the jars and the canner.
Fill each jar with boiling water leaving ¼ inch of space at the top of the jar. I like to fill each jar half full and let that water seep to the bottom of the jar. Then I go around and fill up the rest of each jar.
Now that you know how many jars you will have add your needed snap lids to the small saucepan with boiling water. Turn the burner off and cover with the saucepan lid. Set the timer for five minutes.
Cleaning The Mason Jar Rims
This is an important step that is worth the effort. You want to make sure the rim of each jar is crystal clear. If there is any debris like a piece of apricot or sugar granule on the rim the snap lid will not seal. Run your pointer finger under cold water and run it along each rim several times. I know the rim is totally clear when I hear a squeaking sound. I also like to do a visual check.
TIP: Apricots are a very clean fruit to work with so it is unlikely that there will be any fruit pulp on the rim. Also, if you make sure not to get any sugar on the rim when it is added that will also keep the jar rims clean.
Sealing The Mason Jars
Place the snap lid on the rim of the jar with your pointer finger holding it place in the middle of the lid. Still with your finger holding the snap lid in place screw the screw band onto each mason jar. The ring needs to be secure but not super tight.
Processing The Apricots
Make sure the water in the canner is boiling. Place the jars in the canner and cover with the canner lid. Adding the filled jars will reduce the boiling. Keep the burner on high till the water returns to a boil. Keep the temperature at a simmering boil.
Set the timer for 20 minutes. After twenty minutes remove the jars from the canner and place on a cooling rack. Wipe any excess water on the lids gently with a tea towel.
TIP: Silicone oven mitts are perfect for placing and removing the jars from the canner. Your hands stay safe and dry from the hot boiling water!
Ensuring Jars Are Sealed
Sealing takes several hours while the jars are cooling. You can tell the jars are sealed three different ways:
- You will usually hear a popping sound.
- If you tap the lids you will hear a low pitch ‘thunk’ kind of sound. If you hear a higher pitch sound that does not sound like the rest of the jars it is either not sealed yet or did not seal when processed.
- The lid will have a slight dip (concave) appearance.
Final Comments: I have been using this method for canning apricots for decades. It is a method I learned from my mother-n-law who has also used it for decades. I am now passing it on to my daughters and my readers. It does take some time to prepare the fruit, sterilize the jars and process everything in the canner. But it is well worth the effort to be able to enjoy apricots anytime of the year.
Your Turn: If you have any questions about the process do not hesitate to ask. Just use the comment section below. Do you have easy instructions for canning fresh apricots? What are your tips and what is your method?
Related Reading: Cherries are another easy fruit to can. They do not have to be peeled, pitted or cut! I share my method for canning cherries in How To Can Fresh Cherries – Beginner Instructions.
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