To be honest, I didn't really know if I was making jam or jelly - I didn't really know the difference between the two. Do you? Well, jam is a preserve made with the whole fruit (skin and all) while jelly is just made with the fruit juices.
For this trial run, I made apricot jam. I've included the recipe below (it's so simple) and any fruit can be substituted for apricots. I'm excited to try blackberries, cherries and figs next!
I let my apricots gets quite ripe (almost two weeks) before making jam.
I used about twelve apricots, washing, pitting and then halving them.
I put them in a pot and added two generous cups of sugar. I then added about half a cup of water and turned on the heat, stirring until the sugar was dissolved (a few minutes).
Then I lowered the heat and let it all simmer for about 35 - 40 minutes, stirring it about every ten minutes. It starts to turn into a gelatinous goop. If a gunky film forms on the top layer (like when you boil milk stove top) just skim it off with a spoon and proceed. Don't let the gunk get you down.
Cover it and say goodnight as you let it sit (flames now off) overnight. Sleep.
In the morning, if it's still thin, put it back on the flame for another 15 minutes. Or just skip that step and transfer to a glass jar and put it in the refrigerator. When it cools a bit in there, it will firm up (although don't expect the thickness of preservative-laden store bought stuff.)
Then slap some butter on some nice bread and slather the jam on and enjoy!!!
This batch made quite a bit so I've been spooning it into glass baby jars and handing them out to whomever comes over to our house (whether they like it or not.)