Friday, June 13, 2008

Apricots and more Apricots

I was driving down main street the other day and saw a sign for apricots. I called the number and the man offered to sell me apricots for 75 cents a pound. Fresh, local apricots for 75 cents a pound! I was so excited, I bought 40 pounds. And he will have them for about three more weeks. So, if I use up all of these, I'll buy more. Later in the summer, he'll have peaches, too. I can't wait!

Now I need help figuring out what to do with them. I thought I would make apricot jam and Porter wants to make an apricot cake for father's day.

What else can I do with 40 pounds of apricots?
And does anyone have a tried and true apricot jam recipe, canned not freezer jam?


Jen said...

Sara and I make the jam that comes in the box of pectin, and it turns out well. There is a yummy chicken recipe that you use 1 jar jam, 1 pack onion soup, and 1 small bottle Russian dressing and bake it, then serve over rice. My MIL made it with Caesar, too, and it was fabulous.

You could also dry them and make fruit leather.

Jen said...

We also puree it and freeze it, then mix with sprite or Lemonade throughout the year for a slushy drink. Can you tell we get a lot?

Whitehorn Family said...

There's ton you can do with apricots. I grew up with an apricot tree and my memories are making fruit leather (fruit rollups, yummm) We made so much it lasted about a year.
Antoher great thing to do with apricots is to blend them in the blender and pour it over your ice cream, it is sooooo delicious.
HAve fun!!!
I'm jealous, because down here every fruit seems to be expensive right now.

Whitehorn Family said...

Vanilla ice cream obviously is the best!

anna jo said...

oh! my parents have an apricot tree and every year my mom blends up all the apricots and then freezes them. then she uses them in this awesome apricot nectar beverage--you put in pineapple juice and I can't really remember what else. once it's made you can also mix it with some bubbly for a little kick. but I think it's best straight up. I'll have to get you the recipe! it's yum.

Janelle said...

Wow I didn't know that anything let alone fruit could be sold for 75 cents per pound. If he sales his peaches for that cheap it may be worth paying the gas money to get them that cheap.

Janet McKinney said...

Jam making is an easy formula. You can do this with almost any fruit - but some fruit will set easier than others. Apricot is a beautiful fruit for making jam.

Cut the apricots (or any other any fruit - cut up into bits) in half, and put in a huge pan - just cover with water and boil until the fruit is soft. Make sure that some of the fruit is a little under ripe, because this has natural pectin in it, which makes the jam set.

Once the fruit is all soft, measure how many cups of fruit mixture you have. Put it back in the pot with an equal number of cups of sugar. Continue to boil on the stove. - Keep stirring with a wooden spoon, and make sure that the sugar does not crystallize on the side of the pan. Wash off any sugar that sticks to the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.

Put some crockery saucers in the freezers to chill. To tell if the jam is ready to set, you put a small teaspoon full of the hot jam on toa frozen/cold saucer, and let it cool for a couple of seconds. Then push the side of the blob of jam, and if the top wrinkles - like as though there is a thin skin forming, then it is ready to bottle.

This takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to happen - depends on the amount of natural pectin in the fruit. If you are having trouble setting the jam - you can add lemon juice, or a packet of pectin from the supermarket to help.

Make sure you have cleanly washed your bottles - and lids for the jam, and then put them in a pot of boiling water for about 10-15 seconds to sterilize the bottles and lids.

Put all the bottles on the bench top (I usually put them on a tray because you are sure to spill a little jam when bottling, and it is easier to clean up the tray and scrub the bench), and put a fork in each bottle. The fork absorbs the heat of the boiling jam as you put it into the bottle, and can help avoid the glass from cracking. Use a cup or a small jug to pour the jam into the bottles, and fairly quickly, (in about 1 minute or so) remove the fork, and put the lids on the jam.

Instead of lids, you can either buy some plastic circle tops from the supermarket to put over the bottle, and hold them on with a rubber band. Alternatively, melt some wax, and gently pour over the top of the jam to seal the bottle.

Have fun - jam making is addictive...

Janet McKinney

Dansie Family said...

thanks for the ideas. i have just about used up the first 40 lbs. i made 9 jars of jam, 9 quarts of canned apricots, froze a bunch to use in smoothies and even tried to juice some (i don't recommend that.) And of course we have stuffed our faces with them straight out of the box. i should get some more next week from tom's co-worker.i may try some pectin-less jam.