Canning Apricot Syrup

Update: If canning is your “thing” be sure to visit my new growing, canning, and preserving site at Seed to Pantry. I’ll be adding new canning tips and techniques on a regular basis!

Today I am wearing my other hat – that of Home Economist, Master Food Preserver, and all-around cooking teacher! Summer is in full force here in the Mid-Columbia, and although that means suffering through triple digit heat, it also means that the apricots are ripe. There is nothing like a fresh apricot eaten out of hand. But I want apricots all year, so I make syrup. Yes, you can purchase apricot syrup at the grocery store, but homemade is soooooooooo much better and less expensive! It’s the closest thing to fresh apricots in the middle of January.  Apricot syrup is simple to make too. Here’s how I made this batch.

1. Wash apricots (about 3 lbs), cut into quarters and throw away the pits.

2. In a large Dutch oven, cook the apricots in a little water until they are soft, then puree in the blender.


3. Measure the puree (I had 6 cups of puree) and then put it back in the Dutch oven. Add an equal amount of sugar and about 1/4 cup of lemon juice. The lemon juice keeps the apricots nice and bright but you can leave it out. The cooked syrup will be a darker brown color, but will still taste great!

4. Stir the sugar/apricot mixture until the sugar melts, but first……TIP (this will save you much frustration and mess) take a stick of butter and just rub it along the inside lip of the Dutch oven. The butter fat will keep the syrup from boiling over. This is the voice of experience, apricot syrup all over the stove, floor, etc. is a sticky mess.

5. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir often until it reaches 217-218 degrees (use a candy thermometer).

6. Remove the mixture from heat, stir and skim off the foam if there is any. Pour into 1/2 or 1 pint jars (I used 3/4 pint jars here, but they aren’t always easy to find). Leave about 1/2 inch of headroom.


6. As you can see this is a messy process, so make sure you put down a towel. Wipe the jar rims with a moistened paper towel and put on the two-piece lids.

7. Bring water to a boil in a water bath canner, add the syrup jars (using the little basket that keeps the jars off the bottom of the canner), make sure that they are covered with 1-2 inches of water and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat somewhat (you still want it to be boiling though) and process for 10 minutes.

8. Remove the jars and set on a towel on the counter top to cool. There, you have made delicious syrup perfect for pancakes or biscuits all winter long.

Some additional tips: The 6 cups of puree made about 4 pints of syrup. The canning jars and lids MUST be clean before using. You don’t have to boil them in hot water though like Grandma did. I usually run them through the dishwasher, and then use them directly from the dishwasher while they are still warm.  DO NOT use a canning steamer instead of a water bath canner. Canning steamers (unless they are pressure steamers) are not approved as safe. But don’t despair, if you have a canning steamer  just flip it over and use it as a soup pot. It is also a great way to steam homemade tamales. But don’t use it for canning. Purchase a real water bath canner. You can also use this same basic recipe to make raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry or grape syrup. Don’t reduce the amount of sugar as the recipe won’t work. Look for an approved reduced sugar jam recipe (ask your local extension agent) and cook until it is just short of  setting. Syrup is basically runny jam!

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

Comments (9)

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  1. I have really been thinking about canning lately. I cant wait to have my big garden next year and have more fresh fruit and vegetables to use in my kitchen!

  2. Angela says:

    I made this a couple of months ago when apricots were ripe and it was great.

    With our first batch, the candy thermometer never read 217. It pretty much stopped moving at 210 and got so thick that after it was canned we had to add some water to use it as syrup. It was thick enough to be a jelly! The next batch we just let it boil for a while without the use of a thermometer and that did the trick.

    Also, I just steamed the apricots in a big pot on the stove instead of using a dutch oven.

    Great recipe!

    • Angela, I’m glad this recipe worked for you! Sounds like your thermometer had a mind of its own. After fighting with regular candy thermometers for years, I finally broke down and purchased a digital thermometer. I highly recommend them, and use it for everything from canning to baking rustic type breads. Although I will admit that like you, I don’t always use a thermometer when making syrup or jam, especially for recipes I have made over and over. I never thought about steaming the apricots, good idea, maybe next year. Have you tried the Strawberry-Raspberry Honey Syrup? It also makes a delicious syrup. Happy canning!

  3. […] not my most popular canning post (that would be a tie between the peach preserves recipe and the apricot syrup recipe) it does have its […]

  4. […] Apricot syrup – canned 9 (3/4 pints) jars. Find the recipe here. […]

  5. Jan says:

    You don’t mention peeling the apricots. Does the purée include the skin?

  6. […] This recipe was originally posted on my other blog. You can find additional photos there. […]

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