The thing I dislike the most about making jam is spending money on pectin only to end up with runny jam. My second issue with making jam is the amount of sugar......oh my! I found a recipe than doesn't require pectin and then I cut the sugar in half and added crushed pineapple. Turns out, it was fairly easy and my husband (who can usually detect even a thought of reduced sugar) loved it. So, here it is.
Once the jam gets cooking things really move fast. The jam should be quite hot when put into the jars so the lids will seal as the jam cools, so it is best to have the jars ready and waiting. Wash the jars in hot soapy water, or if the dishwasher isn't broken, USE IT! With one batch, I filled 4-5 pint jars. Have the lids ready and just as the jam is about done put them in boiling water for about a minute, this also helps with the sealing.
~10 cups halved, pitted and slightly squished apricots
~5 cups sugar
~About 1/3 cup (15 tsp) lemon juice
(I used half of a 20 oz can, but you could probably use the whole can or leave it out completely. It just adds a little more sweet to make up for the reduced sugar.)
Put all the ingredients in this order into a large pot and let it sit for an hour or two. The apricots will start to juice, and when there is a fair amount of juice in the pot it's time to heat it up.
Option 1: Bring it to a boil on high, stirring often. Once it is rolling you'll need to stir it constantly for about 30 minutes. When it boils down to about half the original volume and is thick (think boiling jam) it's ready to pour into jars.
Option 2: Bring it to a boil on medium high, stirring occasionally. Once it is a consistent boil, keep your eye on it and stir often, for about 45 minutes. When it boils down to about half the original volume and is thick (think boiling jam) it's ready to pour into jars.
I also read that if you skim the froth off and save it as you go, it makes a yummy syrup for pancakes or ice cream. I saved it, but I haven't tried it yet.
Pour or ladle jam into jars, wipe the top of the jars with a clean, wet towel and put the hot lids on. I used a spatula to get the lids out of the water one at a time, but I hear there is a little magnet grabber you can buy to make it easier. Screw the rings on tight and turn the jars upside down for five minutes. Turn them right side up and let them cool. A good sign is the popping sound they make as they seal.