Smooth Apricot Butter
2 lb apricots, peeled, halved and pitted (about 24 medium)
½ cup water
3 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
6 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
Combine apricots and water in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apricots are soft, about 20 minutes. Transfer apricot mixture to a food mill or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, working in batches, and purée just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy. Measure 6 cups of apricot purée. Combine apricot purée and sugar in a clean large stainless steel saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon. Stir in lemon juice. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside. Ladle hot butter into hot jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.