Too many apricots!!
My dad brought home a huge crate full of apricots today. I think they will be perfectly ripe in a day or two. I am planning to give a bunch (A LOT) to friends and co-workers, but any ideas and recipes on what to do with the rest would be greatly appreciated!
I just finished making a tree-full of Apricot Jam-it came to a little over a gallon and a half of finished, canned Jam. I use it for topping ice cream, chicken, in sauces and sometimes just for a bite of summer during winter I'll sneak a teaspoonfull straight out of the jar! I use the recipe in The Ball Blue Book of Canning. Next up are the plums as Summer arrives.
Sorbet time! If you have a good ice cream maker, you can capture the ripe essence of your apricots in a sorbet. You will need some simple syrup for texture. Add a teaspoon of light rum to help keep everything soft.
I did this with peaches last summer and tossed the resulting sorbet into our deep freeze. We've been rationing the sorbet ever since.
Good gosh! Jam, pie, kuchen or clafouti...apricots make a dandy fruit salsa, too - mince a habanero, add a minced shallot and some chopped basil, cilantro, and mint, lots of chopped apricots, some sea salt, and fresh lime juice. Better than peaches or mangos or pineapples used in the same way, for my money.
You are blessed, seriously!
Cut them in half, pit them, and freeze them on a tray. They freeze well.
I also cook them quickly with a bit of sugar and water. Lovely all year in crepes or with panna cotta.
If you make pie, the proportions in the Pie and Pastry Bible. If they are very ripe, add a little more cornstarch. I also like a little almond extract.
Finally, the apricot ice cream recipe in the Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook is wonderful. Use the best of the fruit and best cream you can buy.
I see that up to this point no one has suggested a recipe known as 'Apricot Chicken.' If you've never heard of it, it involves apricot preserves, onion soup mix, and red Russian salad dressing. I think only Wish-Bone makes the dressing.
Steam enough apricots to make about a cup and 1/2 of pureed fruit. Steam them, then pit them, and puree them.
We use skinless chicken thighs from free-range birds because of the intense flavor of the meat compared to that of confined birds. Oven brown about 8 to 10 thighs in a ceramic casserole for about 15 minutes at about 350 degrees. Pour off the liquid. You can save it to make soup if you use it in a day or 2 after refrigerating it. Freeze the liquid if your not gonna use it for a while.
Mix the apricot puree, onion soup mix and red Russian dressing well in a bowl. Pour it over the chicken parts and stick the casserole back in the preheated oven, and braise uncovered for about 30 minutes. Serve this with rice, pasta or egg noodles. There should be plenty of gravy from this dish.
Sorry that I cannot give exact measurement because I don't cook that way. I eyeball ingredients that seem about right to me. I've never used fresh apricots, but they should do just fine. You may need some sugar since apricot preserves probably have sugar in the ingredient list.
Buon Appetito (that's Italian, not that other lingo)
Poach. Depending on size, halve or quarter them, put them in a big pot with enough water to cover them...depending on sweetness, add a small amount or larger amount of sugar (I use demerara) and a vanilla bean if you have one...if not, throw in a teaspoon or two vanilla extract...I did this at a friend's house a couple of weeks ago and just for fun threw in a chunk of candied ginger as well. If the apricots are not intensely flavored, you can also throw in a handful of dried apricots to deepen the flavor. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes...you will end up with a delicious syrupy soft compote of sorts that you can mix with yogurt, spoon over ice cream, and freeze if you don't finish within a week or so.
I was supposed to take some home with me, but my friends ended up keeping the whole batch!
Make jam! So easy. Combine one pound of pitted, cut-up apricots and one cup of sugar. (I skin the apricots by dunking them in boiling water for 30 seconds or so, then peeling them.) Leave the apricot/sugar concoction in the fridge overnight or at least for a couple of hours. (This draws out the fruit's own sugar and make a nice syrup.)
Then put the whole concoction in a cooking pan and simmer it on a fairly low heat for about 45 minutes or so. Stay close by; you'll need to stir it a lot. (I stirred almost constantly. The apricot mixture will thicken up.) Then let it cool & refrigerate again. You can keep this for a couple of weeks. Delicious!
re: Miss Sue
re: Miss Sue
With your jam, may I suggest this recipe:
I made it with a small whole chicken and reduced the total amounts of everything and it was delicious! I also made a stuffing with apricots.
Also, just freeze some of the apricots - already peeled and sliced And you can later make lots of things like apricot cobbler later on, when you are not too overdosed on apricots!
Or try this excellent, excellent idea from Roland Messner from his book Dessert University: Forget the dough and just make a frangipane tart. Pour the frangipane into tartlet molds, top with apricot slices and bake at 350 until set. I agree with him that tarts with a dough + frangipane have way too much 'dough'. This is tastier (and super quick).
You folks who live in fruit-growing regions and post about luscious surpluses of field-ripened plenty make me want to burst into tears. Here in Chicago we also have too many apricots---many more than you would want to buy, since either they are one inch in diameter, hard, and green, or they are big and gorgeous and very expensive and taste like plastic. Enjoy. We envy you.
Another idea is one of the Clafouti recipes posted lately. Also, here's a recipe for marmalade, which can be used as a sauce or as jam - from Penelope Casas:
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Peel of 1/4 orange, minced
1/2 pound apricots (or peaches or pears), skinned, pitted/cored cut into 1/4 inch wedges, then 3/4 inch pieces
In saucepan, combine all ingredients except the fruit. Bring to a boil, then cook at a slow boil until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add fruit, and continue cooking at high simmer until fruit is tender and syrup is thick - about 30 minutes. Thin with a little water to serve as a sauce.
Sounds delicious, but I have not tried it.