You already know that blueberries are kind of my thing. It’s what I really invest in during the summer. It’s why I bought a chest freezer last year. But this year, I expanded my horizons a little with apricots.Â I was lucky to get in on a bulk buy of organic apricots that Annette put together â€“ only $35 for a 25 pound box! Isn’t that phenomenal? Regardless of the cost, I was in. I love the challenge that comes with having an abundant harvest on my counter. The clock starts the moment you pick up your box â€“ the race against time before the delicious, ripe fruit starts to turn. There’s an unspoken challenge that faces you. What are you going to do with all these apricots? How can you make the most of it so you can enjoy it when you miss them the most?
So it was with that in mind that I set out to do as many different culinary projects with the box that I could. And since I didn’t have much experience preserving apricots, my mind was a clean slate. A world of possibilites awaited and I vowed not to repeat anything until the following season so as not to miss out on this learning opportunity. So here’s what I did with them:
I made an amazing batch of apricot rosemary jam that was so good, I almost did a repeat. I find myself wanting to make baked goods like biscuits just to have a vehicle for this jam.
I loaded up every tray of my dehydrator with apricot halves and because I’m a nerd, tallied the fruit that I dried. Over 70 apricots! And what a process it was – blanching, peeling, dipping in ascorbic acid, and arranging. Definitely not something you have to do with a box of fruit like blueberries. Duly noted.
I made apricot nectar a la Deborah Madison. (I can only imagine what heavenly creations exist in her latest book, Seasonal Desserts…psst, friends, totally on my wish list.) If you don’t know, I certainly did not, apricot nectar is what you’re left with when you simmer a ton of apricots, stones, and kernels (those are apricot kernels above, which I happily extracted with a hammer outside), strain and puree the goodness with a little bit of local honey.
Place the filling in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze until you’re jonesing for fruit pie in the winter. Just make a fresh crust, pop your frozen filling into the dish, and bake. Granted, I have not tried out my apricot version yet, but if it’s anything like the apple pies I freeze this way, I will not be sorry.
So how about you? What do you suggest I do with my apricots next season? Do you have any awesome apricot recipes that you think I should try?