Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Apricot preserves: to peel or not to peel…

It was the peak of Apricot season a few weeks ago and since then farmers markets are flooded with them. Producers trying to sell them all, before they overripe and consumers trying to eat, freeze and preserve them for fall and winter.
Once we decided that we’d like to make preserves from our golden apricots, the big decision was whether to peel them first or just chop them up. After some internet research and some peel tasting to make sure the peel wasn’t hard and didn’t leave a bitter after taste, we decided to skip peeling and go straight to chopping and blending.

We chopped and measured about 10 cups of apricot adding them to a heavy bottom pan as we went along. The apricots were firm and we like our preserves to be chunky so we used the hand blender very lightly but if you prefer an even texture then you might want to blend it into a smooth paste.
Put the pan over fire, once the water starts separating from the fruit, add about 4 cups of sugar. We like ours less sweet compared to the store bought ones but you can taste the mixture and add more per your desire. Add half a cup of lemon juice and let it simmer with an occasional stir to avoid fruit sticking to the bottom on the pan.

Once the mixture starts gelling, add the hot mixture to clean and dry mason jars. The heat from the preserve will seal the jars. We ended up making two big jars for us and a couple small ones for our neighbors. Kiddos love it on their toast with butter but I prefer mine with Greek yogurt ‘fruit on top’.

Hubby is planning to make apricot galette with the preserves, I’ll share that experience/recipe once he does. Hope this post inspires you to check out what’s fresh in your local farmers market and how you can incorporate it into your slow, delicious and preservative free meals.

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