I have an on/off love for apricots. They so often look lovely but never ripen or they over ripen in the blink of an eye. The taste is rarely what I want it to be. But still I can’t help buying them, each time hoping that this bunch will be “good”. Recently I bought a couple of pounds, taste one and it was good but could be better so I thought they were more suitable to preserving in some way. A recipe on my to make list was Apricot butter, in fact any fruit butter is on my to make list after having made apple butter and plum butter last year!
My inspiration was the recipe from The Ball Blue Book of Preserving but they said 2 lbs was about 24 medium apricots, I had nowhere near that many although they did weigh 2 lbs. When I had pureed them I had 3 cups and not the 1 1/2 quarts Ball said I should so I followed the rule (not sure whose rule!) of using 1/2 a cup of sugar to each cup of fruit pulp. I also don’t trust my stirring diligence waiting for the fruit to thicken so to avoid burning I used the oven method, which although slower, for me is so much easier.
- 2 lb apricots
- 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of fruit puree you end up with (this varies, I found)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 lb = 450 grams
1 cup = 250 ml
- Soak the apricots in boiling water for a couple of minutes then skin and pit them.
- Put the apricots into a pan with 1/2 a cup of water and gently cook until soft.
- Puree them in the food processor, don’t over-do it.
- Add to a pan with the sugar and lemon juice and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour into a fairly large baking sheet, ensuring the apricot puree is spread out well.
- Bake in the oven 300 degrees, 150 c, gas 2 until the mixture has thickened. Stirring occasionally. Its meant to be thick enough so that it “rounds up on a spoon” and doesn’t fall off. This takes between 1- 3 hours. In my oven it was 2.5 hours.
- Spoon the apricot butter into jars (sterilised and still warm).
- Process for 10 minutes in a water bath or follow your usual canning procedure.