APRICOT NECTAR

 


 

When its apricot season, apricot nectar is one of the last recipes we preserve, to utilise any number of fresh, ripe apricots we purchase from a local orchard. Apricots are not very juicy compared to other fruit, so apricot nectar contains apricot juice and pulp, with sugar for sweetness to your liking. Apricot nectar is a staple for making apricot chicken, glazing ham (or pork chops) and is also delicious in smoothies, mocktails, cocktails and desserts.
 
Ingredients for  APRICOT NECTAR
 
Yield: 4 cups
(1 Litre / 1 Quart)
Yield: 18 cups
(4.5 Litres / 9 Pints)
Yield: 28 cups
(7 Litres /7 Quarts)
Apricots, Fresh or Frozen, Diced
900g (2 pounds)
4kg (9 pounds)
6.3kg (14 pounds)
Water
1 cup
4 1/2 cups
7 cups
Sugar, White (Optional)
1/4 cup
1 cup
1 3/4 cups
Plus 3g (1 teaspoon) ascorbic acid powder (or crush 6 x 500-milligram pure vitamin c tablets) dissolved in 4 litres (1 gallon) of cold water to prevent oxidation during fruit preparation.
  
METHOD:
1.  Clean jars (or bottles) and equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use. 
2.  Prepare jars (if they require pre-heating, i.e. twist top jars) in a pot lined with a cloth. Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill. 
3.  Place lids into a bowl. Cover with boiling water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.    
4.  Use firm, ripe apricots for preserving. Wash apricots and drain well. Remove skins (optional), stems and blemishes.
To remove apricot skins: dip apricots in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then place them into a bowl of cold water. Remove skins. 
Cut apricots in half and remove pits. Slice or dice or leave as halves. Place apricots into ascorbic acid solution to prevent discolouration (3g/1 teaspoon ascorbic acid powder - or crush 6 x 500-milligram pure vitamin c tablets - dissolved in 4 litres/1 gallon of cold water). Repeat preparation with remaining apricots. 
If using frozen apricots: place frozen apricots into a bowl and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Any juice in the bowl will be added to the recipe as part of the fruit weight. 
5.  Measure apricots and water into a pot. Cover and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until apricots are very soft. Remove from heat. 
6.  Press apricots through a sieve or food mill (or mash/puree with a food processor, blender or immersion blender). 
7.  Add sugar (if using) and heat on low until sugar has dissolved. 
8.  Remove jars from hot water and place onto a heatproof surface i.e. tea towel. Pour the hot apricot nectar into the hot jars to 1cm (1/2 inch) from the rim. 
TIP: use a jug and jar funnel to fill jars. 
9.  Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth to remove any food residue. 
10.  Remove lids from hot water and seal jars i.e. twist to secure “fingertip tight”. 
11.  Process jars in water bath or pressure canner as per charts below: 
BOILING WATER CANNER (WATER BATH):
12.  Return jars of apricot nect     ar into the pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes back to a full boil. 
13.  Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a heatproof surface i.e. wooden board or towel. Do not adjust lids during this time. 
PRESSURE CANNING (DIAL OR WEIGHTED GAUGE): 
12.  Place sealed jars into the pressure canner and secure the pressure canner lid. Put onto heat and vent for 5 minutes (begin timing once the white steam is constant). Then add weights (or cover) and bring to the required pressure level for your altitude (see charts below). Once the pressure is reached, process for the time stated in the charts below for your altitude. Reduce/increase the heat source to keep the pressure at the constant level. 
13.  Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Allow the pressure canner to return to zero and then remove the lid (be careful, lid and canner will be very hot). After 5 more minutes, remove jars from the pressure canner and place them onto a heatproof surface (i.e. wood board or a towel). Do not adjust lids during this time. 
14.  The next day, check jars have sealed before labelling and dating clearly.  
15.  Store jars of apricot nectar in a cool, dark and dry place (i.e. pantry) for up to 12 months. Jar lids should remain tightly sealed during storage, and not flex up or down when pressed (which indicates jar seal failure, do not consume). 
16.  Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume contents within 5-7 days.

Processing Time for   APRICOT NECTAR   in a Boiling Water Canner

Jar Size
Altitude
≤ 1,000 feet
Altitude
1,001 - 3,000 feet
Altitude
3,001 - 6,000 feet
Altitude
≥ 6,000 feet
Hot Pack
≤ 1 Litre
(quarts)
15
minutes
20 minutes
20 minutes
25 minutes

  
Processing Time for   APRICOT NECTAR   in a Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner

Altitude Pressure Levels
Packing Style
Jar Size
Processing Time
0-1000ft
>1000ft
Hot Pack
< Quarts (1L)
8 minutes
5 PSI
10 PSI
 
Processing Time for   APRICOT NECTAR   in a Dial Gauge Pressure Canner

Altitude Pressure Levels

Packing Style
Jar Size
Processing Time
0-2000ft
2001-4000ft
4001-6000ft
6001-8000ft
Hot Pack
< Quarts (1L)
8 minutes
6lb
7lb
8lb
9lb
  
NOTES:
o  Low/no-sugar: yes, this recipe can be made with no added sugar, however the sugar helps preserve the colour and adds a little sweetness to the tart apricots. More sugar is recommended if you want an apricot nectar closer to the sweet level of store-bought apricot nectar.
 
Author: Megan Radaich          
Image credit: Megan Radaich          
Publication: www.foodpreserving.org

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