Apricots

In preparation for the large pile of apricots you’re receiving this week, I’m going to post a link to the USU extension publication on preserving apricots.  I could gather up lots of different recipes for you, but honestly, the only thing it was missing is freezer jam (see below).  I did, however, add my favorite apricot dessert after the freezer jam — Apricots and mascarpone.  Dead easy and looks professional.

http://extension.usu.edu/energyconsumer/files/uploads/Preserving%20apricots.pdf

Freezer Jam
For freezer jam, you’re going to need a couple of packages of pectin (CERTO, SureJell, etc).  I always have to look around at the grocery, but they’re usually on the top shelf in the baking aisle or near Jello products).  You will need to follow the directions on the pectin package as opposed to this, as each is different, but your ratios should be something along the lines of the following:

3 cups mashed apricots (roughly 2 lbs)
6 cups of sugar
2 packages of pectin
water to dissolve the pectin, probably less than a cup

To prep the apricots for mashing, you’ll want to wash them, peel them, and take out the pits.  Dipping them whole into boiling water for a couple of minutes will help the skin slide right off.

Fantastically Fancy Apricot Dessert
This is an elegant dessert option, but takes almost no effort to make when served cold.  It can be served raw or quickly baked.  You’ll want a couple of apricots per person, some mascarpone cheese, some honey, and maybe a dash of cinnamon or powdered ginger.  Wash and halve the apricots and arrange on a baking dish with some butter in the bottom to prevent sticking (if you’re serving hot) or a serving plate (if uncooked).  [If serving hot, baste them with a little warmed honey and bake them at 400 for 10-15 minutes until soft(er) and starting to caramelize.]  Put a dollop of mascarpone in the center of each apricot half, drizzle everything lightly with honey, and add a dash of spice if you’d like (or slivered toasted almonds).

Side note:  This makes a great pairing with an apricot wheat / hefeweizen beer as a dessert course.  It would also go well with a bit of ginger muddled with soda water for those who don’t partake.