1. You will need 3 X 450 g (1 lb) preserving jars.
2. Sterilize the jars and drain thoroughly, then warm in an oven set at 120°C (250°F) gas 1/2
3. Wash and drain the apricots and prick them with a darning needle.
4. Pour 300 ml/1/2 pint water into a large heavy bottomed saucepan or preserving pan.
5. Add 100 g (4 oz) of the sugar and heat gently, stirring, until dissolved.
6. Add enough of the apricots to cover the base of the pan in a single layer.
7. Bring the syrup back to the boil and remove the riper fruit at once.
8. Firmer fruit should be boiled for 2 minutes, but do not let it become too soft.
9. As the fruit is ready, transfer it to the warmed jars, using a slotted spoon.
10. Add the remaining sugar to the syrup in the pan, lower the temperature and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Boil the syrup, without stirring, until it registers 105°C/ 220°F on a sugar thermometer, the thread stage. Remove the syrup from the heat.
11. Measure out 250 ml (8 fl oz) of the syrup. Stir in the brandy, then pour the mixture over the apricots, covering them completely.
12. pot and store for at least 1 month