Apricot Brandy Preserves

6 cups prepared fresh apricots, about 4 lb.
2 large tart apples
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup brandy, optional

Pit and slice apricots. Measure 6 cups.
Peel, core and grate apples.
Combine apricots, apples, sugar, honey and lemon juice in a stainless steel saucepan. Let stand for 20 minutes.
Fill boiling water canner with water. Place 7 clean 250 mL mason jars in canner and sterilise for 10 minutes.
Bring apricot mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil gently, stirring frequently, until thick, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Place lids in boiling water and boil 5 minutes to soften seal.
If using brandy, stir in and boil for 2 more minutes.
Ladle sauce into hot jars to within 1/4" of top rim. Remove air bubbles with a rubber spatula. Readjust headspace to 1/4".
Wipe jar rims to remove stickiness. Centre lids on jars and apply screwbands. Place jars in canner.
Cover canner and return water to a boil. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool for 24 hours. Check seals, they should curve downwards.

Makes 6 to 7 - 250 mL jars