Category Archives: Apricot

Swimming in Apricots

Sorry the picture is a little blurry but I was cross-eyed-tired. I’ve been busy this week! I’m milking goats for a friend on vacation, trying to keep up with the bean harvest and apricots are finally ripe.

There is but one local fruit that I don’t have growing in my yard and it’s apricots.  I planted a pear, an almond, two hazelnut, and two peach trees this year.  Apricots, however, I just couldn’t find a spot for.  So each year I buy boxes of them from Rama farms at the UW market.

I order them during the winter, always too many and then just before they are ripe they email me and ask if I want to replace the eaters with jammers.  Since I’m making jam with them I always agree.  Then I pick them up, bring them home and realize that 60 pounds of apricots is way too many.  So I jam and we eat and I dry and we eat and I freeze and we eat.  And then I phone up friends and ask if they can come take the rest away right now because I am done.

I realized this time, too, that I only have one case of half pint jars left and even fewer pint jars left since I always end up giving the jam away over the winter.  I now have apricot marmalade in quart jars.  I kidded myself that it would be perfect for making barbecue sauce, or ham glaze, or fruit leather and that I would want such large quantities at a time.

The flavor is intense – amazing – surreal – caramelized – condensed goodness, the color is rich and warm and the jars fill fill my heart as well as my pantry.  Apricot marmalade was my grandmother’s favorite and has always been mine as well.  I can find a million uses for apricot marmalade, from croissants to jam bars to fruit leather to surprise filling for hazelnut-studded chevre balls or to flavor ice cream in the dead of winter.

So now I have two boxes of apricot marmalade, 3 quarts of dried apricot halves and many fond memories of summer finally arrived.

Apricot Marmalade

2.5 pounds organic apricots, halved and stones removed

3.75 cups organic sugar

Juice of 1 lemon, or 1/4 cup Rockridge Orchard apple cider vinegar

Combine the apricots, sugar and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed pot.  Bring to a boil, watching closely and boil, stirring frequently until your marmalade is as thick as you like.  If you stop early you will have apricot sauce which is lovely on pancakes with vanilla ice cream.  If you cook it longer you will eventually get a thick jam perfect for spreading on tiny toasts with chevre.  You can even take that one step further and spread in layers then dry in the dehydrator so you have a pliable layer of apricot paste, perfect for cutting into cubes like Aplets and Cotlets ™ and to take that one step further you can even dip those in ganache.  To can your summer goodness fill sterlized canning jars to within 1/4″ of the top of the jar. Seal and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

Any Jam and Nut Bars

any-jam-nut-bars

You may curse me for this recipe in the end because they are so addicting. But since they are such a great way to use up plum, cherry, apricot, rhubarb or any other not too sweet jam or fruit butter I’m giving you the recipe anyway. I grabbed this recipe at a Pasta & Co. store probably at least ten years ago and just found it the other day.

Perfect timing. I had bought a bag of peeled and sliced Holmquist hazelnuts at the farmer’s market in preparation for Linzer cookies which I haven’t yet found the time to make. I also have many jars of apricot jam from Rama farm apricots made the old fashioned way – without pectin so the flavor really shines. It was a hard decision though since I have quite a bit of low sugar plum jam and some crabapple raspberry jam (thanks Cindy!) and a lot of pear butter too. Any of those would be phenomenal as well.

These some together so quickly and only have a few ingredients that I just may never make the Linzer cookies! Although these are nowhere near as pretty, they ship well and stay fresh for about a week which is pretty remarkable for a cookie.

In fact I need to go eat one before starting.

Yup, still fresh and melt in your mouth good.

Any Jam and Nut Bars

  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature (8 ounces)
  • 2 egg yolks (make meringue cookies with the whites)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry or spelt flour, sifted or freshly grinding it accomplishes that for you
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, etc in pieces
  • 8 – 10 ounces of fruit butter or jam, preferably low sugar or from a tart fruit variety like rhubarb
  • Preheat the oven to 350 f.

    In a food processor or mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light, blend in egg yolks and salt and mix thoroughly, scraping down sides as needed.

    Blend in the flour and the nuts until the dough is well-mixed.

    Pat 1/2 the dough into the bottom of an 8″ square baking dish. Wrap and chill the remaining dough. Bake the dough in the pan for 20 minutes until it’s lightly tanning around the edges.

    Spread the jam or fruit butter evenly over the crust, then crumble the chilled dough over the top evenly. Return the pan to the oven and bake about 35 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let them cool before cutting into squares.

    So if you find you made way too much jam or fruit butter and it’s time to clear some pantry space give these a go. I can’t think of a better use for homemade jam!