6:18:00 PM
So I arrived again in Las Vegas to mass quantities of fruit from my sisters trees. She started canning the weekend before putting up as much as she had time to do but it is always an endless stream of fruit. She saved me a basket of apricot to do whatever recipes that I wanted and of course I couldn't stand to do something that I had already done. Whats the fun in that. 

I pulled out one of her canning books and found a great recipe that looked and sounded deliciously simple. Oh and by the way she wanted me to do a series of recipes with nuts, which are conserves, so you will have the pleasure of seeing five or six recipes like these. If you can not eat nuts or have allergies you can just omit them from the recipe. 

In this recipe it will ask you to "plump" your dried cranberries by heating them with the orange juice and then setting them aside for 1 hour. You can do that the night before then put them into the fridge or get started on that first before you start to work on the apricots. 

Apricot Cranberry Conserve
(adapted from 175 best Jams, Jellies, Marmalades*)
6 half pints 

1 cup dried Cranberries
1 T. grated orange zest
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 cups pitted apricots
3 cups sugar
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup slivered almonds
3 T. Ball low sugar pectin

Preparation: Prepare 6 half pint jars in hot water. Using a knife deseed your apricots and chop them. No need to peel! Grate 2 to 3 oranges for zest depending on the size

Cooking: In a stainless steel pot combine dried cranberries and orange juice.  Heat over medium till the juice is warm. Remove from heat and let stand 1 hour.  Combine the rest of the ingredients with the now plumbed cranberries, except the nuts.  Cook on medium/low for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When the apricots have broken down and are soft turn up the heat to bring the batch to a boil. Add the pectin stirring it in then letting it boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in the nuts and fill jars.

Processing: Ladle jam into hot, sterilized half pint canning jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Remove air bubbles and refill if necessary. Wipe rims, and add hot lids and rings. Place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 10 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.

Sealing: Sometime in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.

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