Monday, August 08, 2016

What Can You Do With An Apricot?


We were blessed with an apricot harvest, the first one in like four years. At 7,000 feet, the frost often kills the blooms before they can set fruit. But this year God gave us a bounty.

The apricots ripen south to north. We are now harvesting the fruit on the last tree in the apricot grove. The trees are over a hundred years old, Mr, Linsbury who we bought the homestead from remembered climbing in them as a young boy, he passed away at 90, fifteen years ago....

So Jon picked all weekend long and I found ways to use them in the kitchen...

First we pitted the golden fruit and dipping them in orange juice, hung out two full air dehydrators on the porches. Dried apricots with orange juice is the yummiest snack through the winter.

Then more washing, pitting and this time puree-ing, I managed to put up 8 quarts of Apricot butter... 

No, fake pectin, I cooked the sauce down on the stove top, have the sugar burns on my arms to prove it. Though I have come to the conclusion it is impossible to get the butter up to the desired 105degrees C at 7,000 ft in the Colorado mountains. It just hovered around 95-100 for about ten minutes, putting a plate with a spooful of butter on it in the freezer to test when it is thick enough, works better.

 I'll not only use the apricot butter for toast and P,B, J's, but also there is are lot of recipes I started collecting on Pinterest using apricot glazes for chicken dishes and sauces.

Washing more, I made an apricot pie for dinner on Sunday to celebrate all my kiddos being home at the same time. 

We feasted on steak from our local market, Olathe sweet corn, grilled Palisade peaches, heirloom tomatoes and crusty bread from the farmer's market and even beer from our Dolores River Brewery. Don't know if the potatoes were from Southwest Colorado. 

This morning, with still a little bit of apircots waiting  in the in kithen, I got out the dish I make cobbler in and sliced apricots until I had enough for the recipes. A half a cup of orange juice poured over them, they were stuck in an old plastic bread bag and put in the freezer, to be used this winter.

Oh my goodness! I almost forgot the apricot/tomatoe salsa I made Saturday, that went in the freezer as well...

 Infact, I'm enjoying a bit of it as I write this post. It's always better a few days later.

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