Enjoy delicious apricots all year round with this simple 3-ingredient apricot jam recipe (no pectin needed). So easy to make and so much better than store-bought jam.
We recently moved into our new home and it has an apricot tree in the backyard. But, we didn't realize that we will get a bountiful harvest of ripened apricots in just two weeks. Since then we have been enjoying the fresh, light and juicy apricots.
But, when you have too many apricots sitting on your kitchen counter, the best thing you can make with them is apricot jam. Also, this jam is vegan and gluten-free.
So here I am sharing the apricot freezer jam I made with those fresh ripe apricots using my instant pot (pressure cooker). I also made apricot chutney and shared many apricots with friends and neighbors.
I usually make jam in the Instant pot and I have been enjoying it so far. It is so easy to make without any fuss.
I have used only 3 ingredients to make this homemade apricot jam. I did not use pectin or cornstarch to thicken the jam. It is not that I don't want to use pectin, however this apricot jam doesn't require it as it thickens very well.
Apricot Jam vs Preserve
Both jam and preserve are made with fruits and that's the only thing they share in common. They have whole lot of differences in the way they are prepared, stored and used.
- Preserve refers to fruit/veggies that are prepped for long-term storage whereas jams have a shorter shelf life
- Jams are made of fruit pulp and preserves contain huge chunks of fruits
- The fruit pieces in the preserve are tender and soft whereas jams are pure pulp
- Jams are popularly used as a spread but preserves are typically not due to the presence of chunks.
This homemade apricot jam requires only three ingredients that are easily available:
- Fresh, juicy apricots- Have a mix of fresh apricots that is ripe but not too ripe. You will know the ripeness when you feel the apricot. Also have some unripe apricots in the mix as well as they will be a little acidic and has pectin therefore you don't need the additional pectin.
- Sugar- Sugar adds the right amount of sweetness to the apricot jam. It also is a preservative that extends the shelf-life of the jam. Other sugar alternatives could work too, however I have only tried making the jam with sugar.
- Lemon- Lemon helps you tighten the texture of the jam by releasing the right amout of acids and it balances the sweetness of the sugar. It also prevents the growth of bacteria and keep the jam fresh longer.
To peel or not to peel
I usually use the whole fruit with the peel intact. I personally like leaving the peel on as it comes from the backyard. So, there is no worry about pesticides. Also, the peel adds more vitamins and pectin to the jam and it is less work for me too.
But if you want to remove the peel, then boil a large pot of water.
- Blanch the apricots for just a minute in boiling water.
- Then remove them using a strainer and transfer the apricots to a bowl of cold water. This is called shocking them and helps to remove the peel.
- Wait for a couple of minutes and when the apricots are cool to touch, you can easily peel off the skin.
How to make?
- If you have not peeled the apricots, start the jam preparations by rinsing the apricots well under running water. Pat them dry.
- Now cut the apricots in half to remove the seed. If the apricots are big, you can cut them in quarters or even smaller pieces. I had about 6 cups of apricots.
- Then add all the apricots to Instant Pot. Then add sugar and lemon juice to them and stir well.
- Then close the Instant pot lid and let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes. It will help release the juices from the apricots.
- After 30 minutes, open the lid and stir the apricots well once. The would have released a lot of their juices and there will be enough liquid in the pot. Now, it is time to make the jam.
- Start the Instant pot and close the lid again in sealing position. Set the pot to cook on high pressure for 2 minutes.
- After the cooking time is completed, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
- Then release the pressure manually and open the lid. The apricots may seem watery, but we will sauté and thicken the jam.
- Use a potato masher to purée the apricots if you are making it as a preserve. If you want to make a jam, you can use a hand blender to make it completely smooth. As I wanted to make jam, I used a hand blender.
- Again start the Instant pot on sauté mode and let it cook for about 5 minutes while stirring frequently. You will see the jam thickening as you stir. Remember the jam will also thicken as it cools down.
- Once you get the desired consistency, press cancel and turn off the instant pot.
- Let the jam sit in the instant pot and reach room temperature before you transfer it to a jar.
- After you have transferred it to the jar, refrigerate and enjoy.
How to serve?
Here are some ideas to enjoy this homemade apricot jam:
- Spread it generously on top of toasted bread or bagel.
- Add it as a topping on yogurts, ice cream or custard.
- Enjoy it with whipped cream on top of waffles or pancakes.
- Add it as your cake topping or layers.
- You can even add it to a flatbread (roti or pita) and make an apricot wrap.
With this recipe, pectin or cornstarch are not required to thicken the jam. We got a very good consistency with just the lemon juice. As apricots contain mild amounts of pectin, lemon juice is enough to activate them and thicken the jam.
You can store the apricot jam in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. To store for longer, transfer to small jars and freeze the jam.
It is your choice, you can make the jam with or without the peel. I personally don't peel as the apricots are from my backyard and it is less messy.
If you liked this 3-ingredient jam recipe, don't forget to check out my strawberry jam recipe!
Instant Pot Apricot Jam
- Rinse the apricots and dry them with a kitchen towel. Slice them in half and remove the seed. If the apricots are large, quarter or cut into even smaller pieces. I had about 6 cups of apricots after pitting and cutting.
- Place the apricots in the instant pot. Add the sugar and lemon juice to the instant pot. Stir well.
- Close lid and let them sit for about 30 minutes. This helps to release the juices from the apricots.
- Open lid and stir the apricots. Close lid again with vent in sealing position and pressure cook for 2 minute at high pressure.
- When the pressure cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Then manually release the pressure.
- When you open the lid, there will be a lot of liquid, but don't worry we will sauté and this will change completely.
- Use a potato masher to mash the apricots if making a preserve. You can use a hand blender to make it completely smooth to make jam. We did the later and made jam.
- Put instant pot on sauté mode. Let it cook for about 5 minutes while stirring frequently and the jam will thicken. Remember that jam also thickens as it cools. Press Cancel and turn off the instant pot.
- Let the jam cool before you transfer to a jar to store it. Refrigerate and enjoy!
- Follow the same steps as above using a heavy bottom pot to make the jam. In place of pressure cooking, cook on medium heat for about 12-15 minutes until the apricots have softened. Then follow the steps to mash the apricots, thicken and store the jam.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.