TOTAL TIME: 60 minutes
MAKES: 3 (8-ounce) jars
- 2 1/3 pounds fresh apricots
- 4 cups white wine vinegar (7 % acidity)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 3 bay leaves
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 3 (8-ounce) canning jars with lids and screw bands; a boiling-water canner or an 8- to 10-quart deep pot; tongs; ladle; an instant-read thermometer; cheesecloth
Wash jars, lids and screw bands in hot, soapy water, then rinse well. Dry screw bands. Put jars on a rack in canner or
deep pot and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Put tongs and ladle into pot, making sure lower 5 inches of tools
are submerged in the water. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes (see note). Remove from heat, leaving jars in water.
In a small saucepan, heat lids in water to cover by 2 inches until thermometer registers 180° (do not let boil). Remove from heat, leaving lids in water. Keep jars and lids submerged in hot water, covered, until ready to use.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl 1/3 full with ice and cold water. Blanch apricots 30 seconds in boiling water then, using a slotted spoon, transfer to prepared ice bath. Drain apricots, then peel, halve and pit.
In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, salt and bay leaves; bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes. Add apricots and cook at a gentle simmer until apricots are tender but still firm, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer apricots
to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain and cool.
Line a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth; strain cooking liquid through prepared sieve into a large bowl. Return liquid to saucepan, bring to a full boil, then remove from heat.
Drain jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel 1 minute, then invert. Divide apricots among jars and cover with hot liquid, leaving 1/2 inch of space at top. Discard any excess liquid. Wipe off rims of filled jars with a clean damp kitchen towel, then top with lids and screw on “finger tight” (just screwed on with your fingertips, not cranked tight with your palm). Put sealed jars on rack in canner or pot and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covered, then boil 20 minutes. With tongs, transfer jars to a towel-lined surface to cool. Jars will seal; if you hear a ping, it signals that vacuum formed at the top of cooling pickles has made lid concave (some jars make the sound after you remove them from water, and others in same batch may take a few hours); the important thing is for jars to eventually have concave lids.
After jars have cooled 12 to 24 hours, press center of each lid to check that it’s concave, then remove screw band and lift jar by lid with your fingertips. If lid stays put, it has a good seal. Replace screw band. Put any jars that are not filled up to 1/2 inch from top, or any that haven’t sealed properly, in the refrigerator and use them first. Let pickles stand in a cool, dark place at least 2 months before eating. Pickles can be stored for up to 1 year.
NOTE: Add 1 minute of processing time (both to sterilization and final processing) for every 1,000 feet above sea level.
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