Great Recipes with Fresh Apricots - How to Make Jam, Chutney and Sun-dried Fruits
Apricots are such wonderful tasting fruits that are available in abundance during the spring and summer months. If you have an apricot tree in your backyard, you will have loads of fruits if there has been no frosty mornings when the apricot flowers are blooming. These flowers are very sensitive to frosts and if that happens, you sometimes end up with no fruits at all for that year.
Apricots are usually eaten fresh and whole. They are great for making fruit salads. They can be cooked and stored in syrup like peaches, or cooked into jams and chutneys. Here are some great ways of cooking fresh apricots and storing them for later use.
Apricot Jam Recipe
Homemade apricot jam always taste so good because it is made up of only apricots, sugar and lemon juice, unlike commercial jam which is packed with artificial flavorings and pectin. This recipe is for making several jars of delicious apricot jam to be served with your morning breakfast.
You will need 2 kilograms of apricots, 1½ kilograms of sugar and 1 lemon. Wash the apricots, cut them in half and remove the kernels. Extract the juice from the lemon.
Put the apricots, sugar and lemon juice in a pot and cook on high heat until it is boiling. There will be a lot of orange foam forming in the pot. You can skim off the foam to prevent the pot from overflowing. Let the apricots cook on medium heat for about an hour and keep stirring and stirring so that it does not get burnt at the bottom of the pot. Otherwise, you will end up with horrible jam with burnt smell!
After about one hour of cooking, the volume should reduce to about half, if not, boil a little bit longer until the volume decreases and starts to thicken. If you are satisfied with the consistency of the jam, use a ladle to scoop the jam into the jars. Seal tightly and leave the jars to cool. Label the jars before storing them.
Apricot Chutney Recipe
Apricot chutney is great for making sauces used in cooking meat dishes or served with roasts. Here is an awesome recipe for making apricot chutney. You will need several clean (preferably sterilised) jars for storing the chutney.
1½ kg apricots, chopped (kernels removed)
2 red onions, chopped
1 cup vinegar
1 cup raw sugar
1 tbsp galangal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice powder
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
Put all the ingredients in a pot and cook until it is boiling. Then let it to simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.
After one hour, ladle the chutney into sterilised jars and seal. Label the jars so that they do not get mixed up with the apricot jam. Leave the jars to cool before putting them away in a cool, dark place to store.
If you love dried fruits, you can also make your own sun-dried apricots. Wash the apricots and remove the kernels. Cut into quarters and put them on a tray. Leave them under the sun to dry for a few days until the apricots look wrinkled and feel leathery. They should taste chewy and not squishy wet.
Another way of drying apricots is in the oven. Turn on the oven to the lowest temperature setting around 50°C and leave the tray of apricots in the oven for several hours. The apricots will look dehydrated when they are ready.
Store in ziplock bags in the refrigerator. Enjoy them as healthy snacks.
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