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I love apricots -- who's with me?

  • Bob W Mar 16, 2009 07:25 AM
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I grew up in a house with pretty substantial old world influences foodwise. For example, we had tons of fresh apricots, which are not exactly big in the US.

Now, I love dried apricots too. And many fresh apricots, while pretty, are dry and tasteless. Others are mealy/mushy. But if you get one thats just right, it's pretty much fruit perfection. (Same for greengage plums, another of my fruit affectations).

Any other fresh apricot lovers out there?

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  1. Right here, but it has been soooo long since i've had a good one I rely on my memory now.

    1. Love them, but so rarely do we get really tasty ones in the northeast.
      Soft, watery, tasteless too often...but I do agree that it's one of those fruits that takes particulary well to being dried, I always have them in the house for snacking. Also keep apricot jam in the fridge.

      1. I still remember the best apricot I ever ate, 30+ years later. A dead-ripe Blenheim, like eating a cross between a fruit and almond paste. Sublime and never since replicated experience.

        1 Reply
        1. re: buttertart

          there is nothing that compares to a Blenheim

        2. I'm not a major fan of raw fruit, but yes, apricots are in there.

          Put them in a danish however, and you may lose an arm if you don't drop it quick enough! <3

          1. I grew up eating fresh apricots - and - Greengage plums are my very favorite I'm not much of a fruit eater, but I can't get enough of those and the little Italian plums in season.. Luckily, I can buy very good tasting apricots at a local farm in the summer. I usually buy them just as they are ripe and use them up in a hurry than bide my time till the next market day.

            Mark Bittman has a recipe for roasted plums in his "1000 Best Recipes in the World", but after two tries at the recipe, I gave up. It just doesn't do justice to the golden fruit....

            1. We used to have an apricot tree in our front yard. As you wrote, when you pick one that's just right, it's nirvana. Sadly, the tree toppled over one day, and that was the end of that!

              1. Apricots are my absolute favorite fruit. When I lived in TN we would get them for about a month, but now that I'm in New England, it's a week or two. But during those two weeks I'll eat a dozen a day, easy. There's nothing like a perfect apricot.

                1. I've been disappointed in the quality of fresh apricots so many times, I've quit buying them. However, I do like these a lot.
                  http://www.normthompson.com/jump.jsp?...

                  1. I have a tree in my back yard. The fruit is out of this world. However, i don't think weather this year is going to allow for the blooms on the tree to mature into fruit.

                    1. Southern California has to be the Stone Fruit Capital of the World, and now that the farmer's markets have gotten to be such a force among the growers, a lot of the fine old varieties that had been abandoned because they couldn't be shipped are coming back. Last summer I finally had an apricot whose flavor matched the memory I'd been carrying around for almost 60 years, and it made me very, very happy. I have no idea what this year's stone-fruit crop is going to be like, but the past several have been brilliant, a paradise of peaches, apricots, plums and nectarines, and all those weird crossbreeds as well. I guess that puts me into the YES!!! camp...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Will Owen

                        Exactly. It's hard to find a good one, but when you do, it's worth the effort!

                      2. Fresh apricots are great and our shops are usually full of them in season. Unfortunately, they are so often wooly textured that I rarely eat them raw. Cooked, they're fine.

                        Small greengages are an autumn delight!

                        1. I love them, plums, peaches. All fruits. Ate them all the times when young and still do.

                          I love them raw, in salads, slow simmered over pound or angel food cake or ice cream. A simple tart is great apricots, a cookie tart and raspberry preserves, simple and so good.

                          cooked lightly and served with shrimp, scallops and fish. Also chopped as a light salsa with onions, red pepper and other fruits and vegetables over fish, chicken or pork.

                          Mostly they are pretty good down here. Dead winter even in FL, the fruit isn't as good but usually especially at the better markets can get quality fruit.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kchurchill5

                            Try as I may, I can not seem to get apricots that good. Mealy, tasteless is the norm. Every once in a while you get one that is okay but the odds are poor for finding a great apricot. Where are you getting yours in Central West FL.?

                          2. Cute story: Last night (that is, the same day I posted this), my little daughter (age 4 1/2) out of nowhere said, "Daddy, are you going to buy us some more apricots?"

                            A couple of days ago, I introduced her and her twin brother to starfruit -- another success. It was the only fruit left out of about 15 on a poster at their preschool that they hadn't tried yet. Thanks to Wegmans for having a couple in stock.

                            This is a girl who already eats black olives and artichoke hearts, among other things. She is daddy's little girl, a chowhound in the making.

                            1. Apricot Lover here...love cooking them on the grill.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                Absolutely. I stuff mine with pecans, gorgonzola.
                                Or a dab of blue cheese and serve on a plate with a raspberry puree, crushed up walnuts
                                and some marcapone.
                                Or coat in a walnut bread crumb mixture and top the with honey and then the nut mixture
                                and then bake Top with fresh ice cream and a fresh raspberry sauce.
                                Grilled over fresh seared grouper with a honey and white wine reduction with fresh sage.

                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                  Holy Batman Kchurchill...I LOVE the way you roll!

                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                    I love fresh fruit, peaches, figs, plums and figs are great over simple grilled pork tenderloins. Just saute some shallots, add some figs and plums and some white wine and fresh herbs and serve over a simple grilled tenderloin. Simple quick easy. You can make the sauce right on the grill as the pork cooks. Serve with some easy rice pilaf. Add some nuts and gorgonzola cheese. Instant great dinner. You can pan sear the pork too and finish in the oven, takes no time.

                                    Steaks with apricots and raspberries is great with a rich red wine and honey and serve with a slather of blue cheese and bread crumbs on the steak. Brown the top and serve with the fruit sauce.

                                    Apricots mascerated with balsamic like strawberries and please include the strawberries and serve over frozen vanilla yogurt. Actually I somewhat soften the yogurt and add amaretto and fresh chopped nuts and then refreeze. Then serve the fruit over Top with marscapone and more fresh nuts

                              2. love apricots! when i was little my grandmother had an apricot tree, back then we used to crack the stone and eat the seed inside as well. Was at TJ's a few weeks ago and I couldn't believe they sold apricot kernels! Unfortunately the didn't taste the same as I remembered..

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: andieb

                                  We had three apricot trees when I was growing up in Sunnyvale. I miss those days! The apricots were so good. I love them but I rarely buy them now. As others have said, it's hard to get a good one in the Northeast.

                                2. I'd never tried one until two years ago, when I moved to DC and found some at the farmers' market. Love at first bite! I'm looking forward to this year's crop.

                                  1. My old college dorm used to serve canned apricots every day as one of two desserts. It was years before I could bring myself to sample the fruit again, and I have since eschewed the canned variety. (I do chew Apricot preserves or jam, though.)

                                    1. I never thought much of apricots until I ate them in Italy. They could only be described as honey-like and I practically made myself sick on them, they were so delicious. The only apricots that I have found that have come close in our area (southern NY) is at a fruit farm called Wickham's in Cutchogue, on the North Fork of Long Island. If you are lucky enough to be there during the two weeks in July when the apricots are ready (which two weeks depends on the weather -- there's the rub!), then you will have something very close to apricot nirvana. Unlike apricots you buy in the store, you have to eat these leaning over the sink -- the true test of a great apricot!

                                      1. I adore them, and this thread is a very bitter pill: it makes me remember a visit to a friend in Santa Barbara many years ago. An apricot tree grew next to her terrace and I lived on them. She's not much of a cook but it didn't matter - I was there three days and probably ate a bushel's worth (she didn't like them so she was happy to be rid of them). I'd never had fresh ones before. The supermarket varieties, and those grown here in New England, don't come close. My current favorite is a pit-in dried apricot which I order online from California. They have an oaky, amaretto-like flavor from the pit that takes dried apricots to a whole new level. Just yesterday I placed my quarterly dried fruit order, only to see that they are sold out of the pitties and won't have them again for nearly 6 months. Poor, poor pitty-less me, to paraphrase Linda Ronstadt!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          For future reference (i.e., when they're not sold out), where do you order these incredible-sounding dried apricots?

                                          I love both fresh and dried. Even in California, they're only at their peak for several weeks, and it depends on the year/weather. I prefer farmers' markets because a) they're harvested when ripe and don't travel far so less likely to be woody, and b) you can usually sample before deciding to buy. Also, I think when they don't smell like you want them to taste, they usually don't taste that way either.

                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                            Apricotking.com - all their dried fruit is of excellent quality. I always get the pears, which are large, moist Bartlett halves.

                                            1. re: greygarious

                                              Thanks, good resource!

                                        2. Tacoma Boys' fruit stand in Tacoma, WA used to carry apricots from Yakima. Tree-ripened and really, really good.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: vtnewbie

                                            I always preferred the dried apricots from Turkey to the fresh ones ... until last year. I went to a farmer's market, where they had very large ones. I was suspicious that they'd be tasteless, spongy or else sour, but they smelled divine, so I bought two. I ate them in the car on the way home and almost turned around to go back for more. They were so good! I can't imagine cooking apricots or using them in recipes, because if I find any that are truly sweet and juicy, they'll never make it to the table. I'd be scarfing them out of the bag, one by one.

                                            1. re: 1sweetpea

                                              Amazing to cook with! And to eat

                                          2. This is too cool. Someone who writes for Curb Your Enthusiam must read Chowhound. Last night's season premiere features a Larry David rant about apricots, in which he called them a "low-percentage fruit." I'm pretty sure he used the words dry, mealy, and mushy too. I'm kvelling!

                                            Aside from the apricot riff, the show was pretty hilarious, as you would expect from any show with a character named "Bam-Bam Funkhouser."

                                            1. Are apricots in season right now? Is apricot pie a good idea?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Soop

                                                It's a very good idea but at least in North America they're a late June-July crop.

                                              2. Oh, I remember the delicious apricots of my youth. One summer they were in abundance and I couldn’t get enough of them. Now, some 30 years later, I rarely see them anywhere, even in the farmer’s markets. But if I find some, they are usually (like many above have lamented) mealy and flavorless. So, I resort to the dried variety and apricot preserves, but dang I miss the fresh ones!

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: cuccubear

                                                  I am so fortunate, in New Jersey, to live near a fellow who has apricot trees, and they are truly amazing. However, the season is too short and his supply is very limited, so I dehydrate them for future munching. I love dried apricots, but not the ones from Turkey (flavorless, mushy), only the ones from California, and my own, of course. This means I have to buy Delmonte in a small box at exorbitant prices, from the grocery store, and they are treated with sulfites. I do this at Christmas time for my always-in-demand Hungarian Apricot Bars. Fresh apricots, whatever season, available in the grocery store, are always terrible around here.

                                                  1. re: pitterpatter

                                                    Where in NJ if you care to share? Perhaps you could also be so kind as to post your always-in-demand Hungarian Apricot Bars on the Home Cooking board, for the rest of us apricot fanciers?

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      The Flemington area, on Clover Hill. The season is over until next July.

                                                      I posted this recipe a few years ago:

                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/314272

                                                      Enjoy!

                                                      1. re: pitterpatter

                                                        Excellent, thanks! Will be on the lookout next year - is it a private farm or is there a name? (Maida Heatter has a somewhat similar recipe in her Great Cookies book for a Hungarian walnut bar - truly delicious and uses all butter.)