- 2 pounds apricots
- 1½ pounds dark sweet cherries, pitted
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon unsalted butter
prep the fruit
Rinse the fruit well. Pit and quarter the apricots but don’t bother peeling them. Pit the cherries and cut them in half. Put both in a non-reactive pot (I use this 4-qt one) with the lemon juice and sugar. Combine gently, and let stand while you start to prep the jars.
prepare jars and other equipment
Use any pot that will hold the jars and enough water to cover them by 1-2 inches. Put empty clean jars in the pot, add water to at least an inch over the tops of the jars, and bring the water to a boil. Remove jars, and let them drain upside down on a folded towel. Don’t drain the water from the pot; you’ll use it shortly.
Wash the lids in warm water and set aside (see new procedures for jar lids!) Keep the bands handy. Have an extra small jar, or custard cup, clean and ready for any excess jam. Put a small plate or sauce in the refrigerator so it’s ready for testing the jam.
add a bit of butter and cook
While the empty jars are coming to a boil, cook the jam: add the butter (it reduces foaming), and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat somewhat and simmer it until the chunks of fruit are thoroughly cooked. Blitz the preserves with an immersion blender – this will create a smooth thick texture, and will help the jam cook faster.
cook until you can make a clean streak
Return the preserves to the heat, and continue cooking, stirring often, until it bubbles and looks quite thick. I like to test for doneness by putting a spoonful on a saucer, and chilling it in the refrigerator for 2 minutes. After that time, if I can drag my finger through the jam, and leave a clear track that doesn’t fill in again, it’s ready. In my kitchen, this took about 10 minutes more.
seal in boiling waterbath
When the jam is ready, remove the pot from the heat. Ladle jam into prepared jars, wipe rims, and apply lids and bands. Anything that won’t fit in your four jars can go into the clean custard cup and chill it in the fridge.
Wipe the jar rims, apply lids and bands, then process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool jars, label, and store in a dark cool place.