3 min read

Ever wondered how to make homemade jam? Here's a simple recipe...

One of my favorite things about summer is the sweet taste of stone fruits. There is nothing more delicious than fresh apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries to help cool you down during those heatwaves. Whether we buy them at the local supermarket, fruit markets, grow them ourselves and or have friends or family willing to share their summer crop, they are one of life's best simplest pleasures!  

We were given some beautiful home-grown apricots by a great customer (Giuseppe) at our Reservoir Store a few weeks ago. In fact, too many to eat! Umm, what to do with them? So we decided to make some homemade Apricot Jam.  

Below is our neighbor Shirley's homemade jam recipe which has stood the test of time. The recipe is from 1972 and needed to be converted from imperial measure (pounds) to metric measure.  

Here it is!  

The Ingredients

2kg of Apricots

1kg of Sugar

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

1/2 packet (25gm) of Jam Setta *you can purchase in the spice section of your supermarket. I like to use Jam Setta because I find it helps to settle the jam and minimises the amount of sugar needed.   

I also like to use a little Brandy too, but this is optional - 2 tablespoons.  

Also optional are the blanched kernels. The kernels are the nuts inside the stone of the fruit.  The nut is crushed and blanched and included in the apricot mix.


The Process

Prepare and stone the apricots making sure they are clean.

Sprinkle half the sugar over the apricots and add the lemon juice. 

Leave to stand for a few hours or overnight in a cool place.  

Pour in the soaked apricots into a large cooking pot. (Cast iron or aluminium is preferable to stainless steel, as it will stick)


Bring them to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.

Add the Jam Setta with 100mls of warm water to dissolve.  

Gradually add the rest of the sugar.

Slow simmer for approximately 40 minutes. 

Add 2 tablespoons of the brandy. This is optional. I find that it brings all the flavors together.  

Add the blanched kernel. The kernel will give the jam a beautiful tart flavor and texture.  

You can test the jam to see if it is ready by placing a small plate in the freezer for 15-20 minutes and pouring 1 tablespoon of the jam in the center of the plate.  If it is ready, the jam should set quite quickly - if it still too runny, keep the jam on simmer for a little longer. It may need 10-15 minutes more depending on your result.


Rest the jam for 10 minutes.


Sterilising the Jars

Sterilise the jars in a hot oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes whilst you are resting the jam.

Wash and pat dry the lids.  

Ladle the jam into the jars and seal whilst hot. The jars will be very hot so take care with your handling of them.  

Invert sealed jars top to bottom (upside down) for at least 30 minutes to create a vacuum.


That's it! Your apricot jam is ready to be enjoyed.  


Here's a quick Plum Jam variation recipe for you to try;


2kg of red plums

1kg of sugar (raw or white)

4 lemons

1 stick of Cinnamon

4 or 5 cloves

3 glasses of water.

25gm of Jam Setta



Clean and cut the plums in half and remove the stone. 

In a large bowl, pour half the sugar over the fruit. 

Squeeze the juice of the lemons and add the water.  

Leave covered in a cool place for up to 12 hours or overnight.  

Strain the liquid and keep separately. (Edit: You can use this later to dilute the jam if it becomes too thick during the simmering stage, and in which case you'll also need to add more sugar proportionally. Depending on the season, you may not actually have much (or any) liquid to strain either.)

In a large cooking pot, (large enough for the fruit and liquid), place the fruit and gently bring to the boil.  

Once boiling, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and stir and regular intervals.  

Dissolve the Jam Setta with 100mls of warm water and add to the pot.  

Gradually add the rest of the sugar.

Slow simmer for approximately 40 minutes.  

Remove the bouquet garni (cinnamon and cloves).

Sterilise the jars in a hot oven at 180 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.  

Wash the lids and pat dry.  


Use the same process to test the jams, as included in the apricot jam recipe.  

Ladle the jam into the hot jars

Invert the sealed jam jars upside down for 30 minutes to create the vacuum.  



Watch this space...... We will be including some more preserving recipes in the coming weeks for strawberries and other popular seasonal fruits.  

Our Clayton and Reservoir Stores stock a great range of jars, lids and preserving accessories that are prefect for preserving jam and fruit. You can check out our range at our Online Store.   

We also have a few places available for our Summer Homemade Food and Beverage Courses at our Clayton and Reservoir stores. Our courses are hands on, social and lots of fun.


Cider Making Course

Passata/Sauce Making Course

Feta Cheese Making Course

Hard Cheese Making Course

Advanced Homemade Wine Making Course


You can also check out our SPECIALS by clicking on the link below (in our new mobile-friendly site!):  

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Have a great weekend :)