Brandied Apricot Preserves
Preserves may be any fruit cooked whole or in large pieces with sugar so as to keep it’s shape. The fruit is cooked in sugar and a little water until tender then packed into sterilized jars and sealed. Preserves have a more syrupy consistency than jam. Preserved fruit is lovely with a bowl of plain yogurt or poured over ice cream. The syrup can also be used to baste a chicken or duck. The fruit is then heated and served with the meat. Preserves can be kept at room temperatures in sealed jars. Once the jars are opened they should be kept refrigerated.
5 cups apricot halves
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
a stick of cinnamon, a few cloves and a whole nutmeg , tied in a cheesecloth bag.
Combine all ingredients, except the brandy, in a large pot . Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook rapidly for about 15 minutes, until mixture sheets from a spoon. Stir from time to time to keep fruit from sticking . Remove the spice bag and pour into hot sterilized glass jars. Fill to 1/2 inch from the top. Spoon 2 to 4 tablespoons of brandy into each jar and seal with a tight lid. Makes about five 1/2 pint jars.
For more information about canning with commercial jars:
National Center for Home Food Preservation.