I’ve written about my generous neighbor before; she and her husband have an orchard and ever since we have lived here they have shared their bounty with us. I showed you their cherry trees when I shared my recipe for Cherry Lemonade Jam. This week she called to let me know the apricots were coming in – did I want some? Of course I did! Apricot Jam is my favorite. I knew I’d be thinking up other apricot recipes too.
I went over with my bucket and I couldn’t believe the bounty….
…the trees were so full the branches were falling to the ground. Fruits everywhere in varying stages of ripeness but even so I was overwhelmed with where to start. There were so many! I stayed for about 20 minutes and my bucket was filled. I weighed the fruit when I got home and I had 30 lbs of apricots!
That got me thinking past jam.
What Did the Happy Animals Think?
Of course I took some out to the goats. They had never seen apricots before and it’s always fun to introduce them to new treats. At first they were very suspicious of this strange food and it took a little encouragement but soon, like everything else, they were sucking them down. Everygoat but Nora. She turned her nose up at them.
Bernadette really liked them. I was lucky I still had 10 fingers left. Every time I came out of the yurt they looked to me to see if I had more for them.
A chicken grabbed up one that I dropped and much battling ensued after this photo to see who would end up with the fruit.
Even the Happy Ducks had a chance to try some. Apricots are now Happy Duck approved.
In case you needed to know
What to do With 30 Pounds of Apricots
After that little bit of fun I still had 29 3/4 pounds of apricots to deal with. I got to thinking – why not make apricot sauce? Just like the plum sauce I try to make every year but using apricots instead of plums. The plum harvest hasn’t been good the last couple of years so I haven’t been able to make any and my pantry is lacking. With the apricot substitution I’d have something to use this winter.
10 cups pitted, chopped apricots
2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 TBS finely chopped fresh gingerroot
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 TBS salt
2 TBS mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, gingerroot, garlic, onion, mustard seeds, cayenne and vinegar to a large, stainless steel stock pot.
Heat over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
Add the chopped apricots and return to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and let the sauce cook for one hour and forty five minutes to two hours until it is thickened and reduced.
Prepare your canner and jars – it will make between three and four pints.
Add the hot sauce to hot jars leaving about 1/2″ headspace.
Adjust sauce in the jar to make sure there are no air spaces. If you need to add more do so.
Clean the rim of the jar and add the lid per the instructions.
Screw on the band finger tight.
Add to the canner and bring to a boil.
Process for 20 minutes (25 minutes over 3,000 ft).
Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the canner for 5 minutes.
Remove from the canner and let cool.
A Canning Hack
Here’s a little tip – I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth doing so again – when I’m chopping fruits or anything for canning that I need to add in quantity I mark each cup in some way so I know exactly how many are in the pot. It’s not so bad if you are only chopping three but when you need ten like you do for this recipe and you get interrupted midway well, it’s good to have some way to know where you are. If you look at my photo above you can see four apricot pits just sitting on the table. They are my markers. I can walk away and come back half an hour later and know that I have four cups of apricots in my pot. Easy, right? And that way you don’t have to think about where you are as you go along.
An Easy Recipe
I used the sauce for dinner last night. There was a bit leftover and I knew it would be delicious on scallops. The two of us have decided we like it even better than the plum sauce! It’s sweet/tart with an underlying heat. I know it will go great with chicken, pork, shrimp and yes, scallops.
Just dust the scallops with a bit of flour and cornmeal. Then put a cast iron fry pan on medium high heat and add about a tablespoon of canola oil. Add the scallops and cook them for two minutes on each side. Put the cooked scallops on jasmine rice and top them with the apricot sauce. It was a seriously yummy dinner.
Where Did They All Go?
So far I’ve made three batches of apricot sauce and one batch of jam. That means I have chopped 36 cups of apricots. Actually I have chopped 46 cups ’cause I have another 10 cups ready to go for another batch of sauce.
My hands hurt.
But I’m going to go back and pick more apricots when I can. I have an idea for another recipe. And I need to make a cheesecake for a potluck on Sunday and I think an apricot topping will be awesome. I’ll let you know how it comes out!
- 10 cups pitted, chopped apricots
- 2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 1 TBS finely chopped fresh gingerroot
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 TBS salt
- 2 TBS mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, gingerroot, onion, garlic, mustard seeds, cayenne and vinegar to a large, stainless steel stock pot.
- Heat over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Add the chopped apricots and return to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and let the sauce cook for one hour and forty five minutes to two hours until it is thickened and reduced.
- Prepare your canner and jars - it will make between three and four pints.
- Add the hot sauce to hot jars leaving about ½" headspace.
- Adjust sauce in the jar to make sure there are no air spaces. If you need to add more do so.
- Clean the rim of the jar and add the lid per the instructions.
- Screw on the band finger tight.
- Add to the canner and bring to a boil.
- Process for 20 minutes (25 minutes over 3,000 ft).
- Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the canner for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the canner and let cool.