Summer has finally arrived and here is the proof…yummy sweet, juicy apricots from my mom's tree!
When we picked our first harvest, I imagined baking tarts, pies and more upside down cake, but for whatever reason, no baking occurred. The little gems did not go to waste as we snacked on them all week and used them in a couscous and shrimp dinner.
Over the weekend, we picked more ripe apricots, about twelve pounds, and I knew then that I was going to make preserves with this harvest.
I've always wanted to make fruit preserves, but I never had an abundance of fruit on hand and was intimidated by the boiling and sterilizing process. With some on-line research, I found a recipe and canning instructions and decided to give it a go.
I am quite pleased with this recipe and process. Because the apricots were so juicy and some overripe and I wanted to taste the tartness of the apricots, I cut the sugar way back. The original recipe calls for 6 cups of sugar to 4 pounds of apricots. I used 2 cups and that was plenty.
The apricots and sugar are mixed together and left in a bowl overnight to macerate then transferred to a pot to simmer until it thickens. I liked macerating the apricots for two reasons: 1] you can control the amount of sugar and gauge the sweetness, and 2] I try to avoid boiling water and sugar unless I'm making caramel or flan because it ALWAYS burns.
Now, I need to make some labels and find homes for these tasty preserves!
NOTE: I didn't buy any special equipment, aside from the jars. These rubber tipped tongs made it possible to pull the jars out of the hot water and fill them with the apricots. It's an awesome tool.