*This Apricot Nectar is my favorite way to use apricots. It’s simple to make and lasts for months!
I don’t like apricots.
Well, I don’t like eating apricots. I do however, love drinking them.
When I was a teenager/young adult I would buy the big cans of apricot nectar at the grocery store and pour it over ice as a special treat. As the years have passed and children have taken over my life (and brain cells) I somehow forgot about apricot nectar (in all fairness, they do store it on the bottom shelve of every store I’ve ever been to. Out of site, out of mind, right?).
Yep. It totally left all corners of my memory. Until.
Until the second spring we spent in our home. So, this spring. This spring, the tree that sat in the middle of our peach trees and was completely void of flower or fruit the previous year was suddenly full of white blossoms. Well, DUH. Turns out it was an apricot tree, after all. It also turns out that my junior year of high school botany did not serve me well. Judging by the leaves alone, I should have known it was a fruit tree.
Once I realized this, apricot nectar sprang right back into my mind, almost instantly. I don’t care for apricots when they are eaten plain (it’s a texture thing. I’m weird, remember?) but I do love apricot nectar.
Making apricot nectar is a breeze. Like all canning, it’s a little bit time consuming. But worth it. I now have 7 gallon of nectar stashed away in my pantry. Wait, 6 gallons. My kids are obsessed (looks like the apricot doesn’t fall far from the tree, ya feel me?). Maybe I’ll have to hide it so that it lasts more than a month.
You do need to have a very large stock pot to can nectar. Well, that is if you’re putting it in quart sized jars like I did. If you use smaller jars, a regular sized stock pot will work. Just make sure that the jars are completely covered with boiling water when you process them. We love to drink our nectar over a glass of ice (let it sit for 10 minutes to get really cold and a little bit thinner). Or, you can add a little water to it before drinking (it’s a bit thick!). The nice thing about having apricot nectar around is that you can use it for other things – apricot syrup for pancakes?! Yes. I’ll have that. Watch for a cake coming soon that uses apricot nectar as well…in a way you wouldn’t expect.
Scroll past the recipe for more pictures!
- 4, 1 quart glass canning jars + lids (make sure jars have been sanitized)
- 26 cups Apricots, washed, halved, and pits removed
- 7 cups Water
- 2 cups Raw Cane Sugar
- 4 tablespoons Lemon Juice
- Fill a large canning pot ⅔ of the way full with hot water. Cover and bring to a boil while you make the nectar.
- Place apricots and water in a large stock pot. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium. Let simmer for ½ hour, or until the apricots are super soft and completely broken down.
- Run the apricot/water mixture through a sieve, pushing the apricots through with a spoon, collecting the puree and liquid in a large bowl. Keep pushing the apricots through the sieve until they are no longer glossy and wet looking (puree will stop dropping from the sieve as you stir). You don't want to push the apricots through once it stops coming through easily - too much puree will cause your nectar to look brownish. Whisk until smooth.
- Line up your canning jars and fill each jar with ½ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
- Fill each jar full to the bottom of the neck with the apricot/water mixture. Stir each jar until sugar is dissolved.
- Wipe the rims of the jars to make sure there is no residue( if there is, the jars will be hard to open once processed). Place lids on the jars and screw on very tightly.
- Once the water in the canning pot is boiling, place the jars of nectar in the pot and let boil for 20 minutes (make sure the jars are FULLY submerged in the water).
- Remove the jars carefully from the boiling water and place on a towel on the counter. Let cool completely. You may hear a 'pop' as the lids seal. Once the jars are completely cool, press down on the lids to make sure they have sealed properly. You should not be able to press the lids in at all. If you can, this means the jar did not seal properly and will need to be placed in the fridge and used right away.
- You can put away your jars of nectar - they should keep at room temperature for at least 6 months. Or, if you're like us, start drinking! Apricot nectar doesn't last long around here!
- We like to pour our nectar over a large glass of ice and let it sit for about 10 minutes before drinking. You can drink it as is, or add water to thin it out.