This month I unexpectedly became a fruit farmer. Our new house came complete with an oversized and under-pruned apricot tree that was weighed down by hundreds of pretty little apricots, so many apricots that I knew I would need to come up with some creative ways to use them up.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like apricots, but they are generally the fruit that I pick-up when I am tired of peaches (My grandparents had a peach orchard for years so I am pretty partial to them). I have been trying to change the way I feel about apricots. Step aside peaches, I officially heart apricots the most because I have the most of them!
I have had some adventures in cooking these pretty little fruits so I thought I would share my favorite things I have done with them this season so far:
I found this recipe on food.com and I can honestly say that it is really easy but still very tasty. It was a treat for us during our 4th of July celebration and I am sure that making this pie will become a tradition since I will have plenty of apricots every year. I will need to make sure to actually take a picture of it before we gobble it up next time!
A friend of mine recommended trying out some apricot fruit leather and since I buy plenty of it for my girls I thought this was a genius idea. I found this recipe here on allrecipes.com. In the spirit of full disclosure, my apricot fruit leather didn’t go exactly as planned. I got about half of it to turn out the way I wanted. The other half was just too thick and I left someone else in charge *cough* for the last half hour of cooking while I went to yoga. Long story short, it needed more time in the oven but lesson learned for next time. My advice, be present for the whole process. For a slightly healthier alternative to this recipe, add banana instead of sugar.
The mornings here are hectic and between feeding everyone else and getting ready for the day, I will admit sometimes I forget to feed myself. For days like that, drinking my breakfast is always a good option. I found this Strawberry Apricot Sunrise smoothie recipe at kitchentreaty.com. Head on over there to drool over her yummy pics.
I didn’t get to this one this year but I think it is a good option and I will be trying this next season. I was told that since I am a beginner with the whole “jam” thing that a freezer jam is the way to go. I found this simple recipe here to store away for next year!
Blanching & Freezing
While not really a recipe, it is a good thing to do when all of your apricots ripen up at once like mine did. You just can’t use them all, so you might as well store them away for later. While I have found that most recipes allow you to keep the skins on the apricot, the skins are too hard when frozen, so blanching them first is a good idea. Detailed instructions on doing this can be found here.
The season for picking apricots is a surprisingly short one, but I have discovered that when you have your own tree and can pick them exactly when they are ripe, they are so much better than store bought ones. I can’t wait to try out even more recipes next year!