|4||ounces dried Turkish apricots, finely chopped|
|1||cup apple juice|
|1 ½||cups Stevia In The Raw® Baker’s Bag|
|4-5||ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces|
|1/4||cup fresh lemon juice|
|1||package no-sugar pectin|
|1/2||cup Sugar In The Raw®|
1. Place the empty canning jars in a hot water canner or other large pot fitted with a rack or lined with a towel, and fill the pot with water to a depth of 1-inch over their rims, making sure the jars stand upright. Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize the jars. Sterilize the lids in a small pot of water by simmering them for 10 minutes.
2. In a bowl, combine the apricots and apple juice and soak until they are fully plump and soft, 4 to 5 hours. Drain, reserving the apricots in a bowl and their soaking liquid in a measuring cup; there will be about ¾ cup.
3. Place the Stevia In The Raw® in a mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup of the reserved soaking liquid and stir until the mixture looks like foamy marshmallow. Set aside until the mixture is clear and looks like agave syrup, about 20 minutes.
4. Place 1 cup of the pear chunks in a large, wide mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, pound the pears until they are mashed and very moist, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining pears 1 cup at a time, mashing well, 1 minute, before making the next addition. Measure 4 cups of the mashed pears into a large stainless steel or other non-reactive saucepan. Refrigerate any extra mashed pears for another use.
5. Add the soaked apricots, lemon juice, and the remaining reserved soaking liquid to the mashed pears. Gradually stir in the pectin until it is completely blended with the fruit mixture. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a hard boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in the stevia mixture and the Sugar In The Raw® and continue boiling the preserves for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
6. Place a folded towel on the counter. Remove the hot sterilized jars, one at a time, from the hot water, drain, and place on the towel. Ladle the hot apricot pear preserves into the hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Remove all air bubbles and adjust the headspace as needed, by topping off with more of the hot preserves. Using a damp paper towel, wipe around the rim of each jar. Set a flat lid on top and then twist a screw band into place, making it only finger tight.
7. Using a jar lifter, return the filled jars of Apricot Pear Preserves to the canner. Make sure the water covers the jars by 1 to 2 inches, adding water if needed. Cover, bring the water to a boil, and process the jars for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and let the jars of preserves sit for 5 minutes. With the jar lifter, remove the processed preserves and place the jars on a folded towel. Plan for the jars to sit undisturbed for 12 hours. After 1 hour, check the lids; they should be flat when touched in the center. If a jar is not sealed properly and the lid can be pressed down, the contents are still safe to consume, but the jar should be refrigerated immediately and the preserves used within 3 weeks. Properly sealed jars can be stored in a cool place for up to 3 months.
Per Serving (1 Tbsp.): 20 calories, 0 g fat, 5 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, <1 g dietary fiber, 0 mg sodium.