I’ve been meaning to do a bunch of preserving and canning this summer, but just haven’t gotten up the gumption to do it. But I can’t bear to see all that lovely fruit pass by without doing something with it, so I’m being half-lazy and just making preserves and not canning them.
I love apricot preserves best of all, and use quite a lot of it, so that was the first and most obvious choice. I do also have a handful of very ripe prunes that are just screaming to be preserved, so that might be today’s endeavor.
As usual, almost all my food inspiration comes from the blogosphere, so I took my cue from maki at i was just really hungry. I didn’t have quite as many apricots as she, so I had to scale the recipe somewhat. I also, um, forgot to add the lemon juice toward the end.
The end result, though, worked out fine. I’m glad I forgot the lemon juice, as the preserves are still fairly tart. But they have a bright apricot flavor and a wonderful aroma. My permutation of maki’s recipe after the jump.
Apricot refrigerator preserves
1.5 lbs (approx 700 g.) fresh, ripe apricots
1/4 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice (optional, evidently)
Wash and dry the apricots. Split them and remove the seeds, and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Take a few of the apricot pits (say, four), and crack them open with a nutcracker or mallet. Place the almond-like kernel in a sack of cheesecloth.
In a heavy, nonreactive saucepan, melt the sugar and water until clear and syrupy and bring to a low simmer. Add the pits and about half of the fruit. Simmer until the fruit begins to break down. Add the remainder of the fruit and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the fruit has mostly broken down and the liquid takes on a jammy quality. (It will still look like a mix of fruit pieces and syrup until the fruit breaks down.) Add the lemon juice (or, not) and simmer a few more minutes. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes, then transfer to sealable jars and allow to cool completely. Store in the fridge for about a month or in the freezer for longer.