Canning season began with a bang this year in our kitchen, the inaugural day including apricot picking at my neighbor’s home, followed by apricot butter, two jams and dehydration. Since I can’t do things like canning with the kids home for summer with much efficiency, the process began at 9pm and didn’t end until 3am! Needless to say, I’m awfully tired today- please excuse any typos or random nonsensical rambling. I’ll try to stick to the point: yummy apricot recipes.
Round 1: Cinna-Vanilla Apricot Butter
Have you made fruit butter yet? If not, you’re missing out on one of simple joys of canning. We’ve done apple, pear and now apricot butter. We eat it spread on toast, in peanut butter sandwiches, mixed in oatmeal, with yogurt and over ice cream. There aren’t a ton of ingredients and I use minimal sweetener, making it a healthy sweet.
Cinna-Vanilla Apricot Butter
Apricots- about 10 lbs worth. Wash, peel and take out pit.
Sweetener- Agave, maple or honey to taste. 1/2 to 3/4 c for apricots. (I use a lot less for apples and pears.)
1 Tbl. Cinnamon
1 Vanilla Bean, see this tutorial for a great explanation on how to cook with a vanilla bean
Put apricots into a crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Use an immersion blender to puree the cooked fruit until it is a smooth consistency. (Or put into a blender, but that is just messy. It’s worth getting the immersion blender, trust me.) If it is still watery, leave the lid propped open a tiny bit to let moisture seep out for a bit. Or add water if it is getting too thick. Add sweetener and seasonings. Let it simmer for another hour so the flavors blend in.
Process in a boiling waterbath canner for 20 minutes. Add an extra minute for every 1000 ft about sea level.
If you are new to canning, Ball has great details on the how-to’s of preservation and some great recipes as well. If you don’t want to can it, the apricot butter will keep well in the freezer for months or in the refrigerator for 3 weeks.
Round 2: Dehydration. Super simple, just takes a while.
Wash and halve apricots, remove pit. Lay down on trays. Turn on dehydrator. Rough stuff! Apricots make yummy fruit leather too if you have liners for your dehydrator trays. Just puree fruit, add sweetener if you like and dehydrate.
I made two variations. The first was just the basic recipe in the Pamona’s Pectin box, using apple juice as the sweetener. It was alright but nothing too special. The second so much fun, a great savory twist on the standard-
Rosemary Apricot Jam!
To make, just follow the directions on the Pamona’s Pectin Box, or find it at their website. You could use other pectin brands too of course. When all ingredients are in your pot heating up to a boil, add 3 Tbl chopped fresh rosemary. That’s it! What a difference it made, a lovely new flavor combination for a fruit I am just beginning to love.