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Did Blenheim apricot season start?

Calendar tells me now is the time for Blenheim apricots. Has anyone seen them this year at any farmer's markets? Which ones? I used to get them at Santa Monica Wednesday market for the few weeks they were in season, but now changed jobs and can't make it there Wednesdays. Any suggestions for a weekend market would be great. I am hoping Sunday Hollywood has them

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  1. A coworker brought in some from the Culver City FM this past week. I hear they were good, I didn't try them. CCFM is Tuesday afternoons, on Main St.

    1. Looked last week at the Hollywood FM, but didn't see them. (Was there pretty early though, so maybe I missed them.) Will check again tomorrow and report back.

      1. they come from different areas, so season varies a little. mike cirone at the SM market, who has some of the best, says his are still a couple of weeks away. He farms up near SLO. There are also some old trees around Ojai that could come in early.

        1. In Santa Barbara, they're coming in this week.

          I'm just pulled my last jar of apricot jam out of the hot water bath... it's a great season for stone fruits. Of course, my jam was made with Cots, not Blenheim. There will need to be another round of jamming when the Blenheims roll into town.

          1. Yes. Flora Bella farms had them last week at the HFM. James expects them to last a few more weeks. Excellent pie in the freezer.

            On a related note, the boysenberry season has also started. Perfect.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JudiAU

              they're ending soon,actually.

            2. Flora Bella Farm had them at Hollywood Farmers Market today and said they would have them next week.

              5 Replies
              1. re: LA_Eater

                Thank you! I know where I am heading next week :)

                Any recipe suggestions, in the meanwhile? Like, the pie JudiAu mentioned? I am also partial to cobblers, crisps and tarts. Of courses fresh is still the best.

                1. re: Regina

                  I made a honey-apricot jam this weekend that was really, really good...

                  1. re: glutton

                    We split glutton's directions for making honey-apricot jam to the Home Cooking board. Please follow here if you're inclined to make it.

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/528181

                  2. re: Regina

                    I use Christine Ferber's apricot-vanilla bean jam recipe with Blenheims and it's wonderful. Also try "Chez Panisse Desserts" for fruit recipes -- apricot ice cream, tarts, pies etc.

                    1. re: Regina

                      I suggest letting them soften for a day or so after you get them home from the market. I don't remove the skins on apricots, even if they are fairly pitted. At the very most, I'll remove a bit of the pitted skin. Cut them in half. I don't think it is noticeably once they are cooked. As a pie filling, use 5 T sugar and 2 T of cornstarch and 1/8 tsp. of almond extract for every four cups of fruit. I don't think Blenheims benefit from more sugar or spice. If you like a sweet pie add an extra T. (4 cups is a standard pie but I use closer to 6).

                      I also rec a simple compote for the freezer. Lovely in winter crepes.

                      As another posted mentioned, several of the CP cookbooks have excellent recipes.

                      Apricots pair particuarly well with boysenberries in a crisp or cobbler. Boysenberries are available for another week or two at the HFM and are selling too well to allow me to buy the case I bought last summer. =(

                  3. It's that time of year again, which means apricot jam. Has anyone spotted any Blenheims yet? Also, is anyone selling boysenberries at the Wed. SM or Sun. Hollywood markets? My vines don't produce enough for more than a small pie every few days.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: emily

                      Last Weds. at Santa Monica, several of the vendors said the Blenheims wouldn't be in for a few more weeks. And I didn't see any on Sunday in Beverly Hills. Some of the earlier apricots have been quite good this year, though, you might want to give them a taste while we wait!

                      1. re: PayOrPlay

                        Update 6/11/08: The Honeycrisp stand at Santa Monica's Weds. market, today, did have a small number of Blenheims. I bought a few. They aren't all that ripe, and the first one I tried was nothing special compared to the other varieties now at their peak. I will give the rest a few days. I'm sure the situation will be improving soon.

                        1. re: PayOrPlay

                          you must have been there the same time i was! and i agree with your assessment; i actually thought the pattersons were better than the blenheims at honeycrisp. james birch says another 2 weeks on blenheims, but that this year's crop will be fairly light (one of the reasons they're not widely planted anymore is that they're very heavily alternate bearing--one year will be a bonanza, the next year a bust).

                          on a separate, but related, subject, i've been really impressed with the peaches and nectarines I've tasted so far. might be a good year.