Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer in a Jar II

This week the local grocer had apricots on sale.  Now I don't know about you, but apricots have been very expensive the past few years so they are a BIG treat.  These were so resonable and yummy I bought 48 pounds of them.  Yep that is not an error.  48 pounds  2 boxes worth of apricots. 

I got home and right away began digging in my recipe box and shelves of cook books for all my favorite apricot recipes.  Oh, Oh, Oh,  where do I start. 
First I made a pork roast with apricot sauce.  Dinner will be good tonight.  Then I knew what my first batch of yumminess would be.  Apricot Conserve. This is the favorite on ice cream, pound cake, pancakes, cream cheese as a dip and the list goes on.

Apricot Conserve from Ball Blue Book of Canning and Freezing

3 1/2 cups apricots ( I put mine in the food processor to mash it)
1 1/2 cups orange juice
Peel of 1/2 orange
2 tbs lemon juice
3 cups sugar ( I do use a bit less if the apricots are really sweet)
1/2 cups chopped nuts

finely shred orange peel.  Combine all ingredients except nuts in a large kettle. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. ( at altitude this takes a bit of time. I keep it at a rolling boil like one does for jam for 3 minutes.)
The last 5 minutes, add the nuts.

Remove from heat, skim and stir.  Pour into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space, Cap, process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. 
remove from the bath, let cool.  seals will pop if sealed properly.
note,  the nuts will rise to the top and leave a carmel color.  It is not bad, found this out the hard way,  thought all had spoiled my first year making this  and tossed them to later discover that the nuts rise to the top. 

So what did I do with all those apricots?   I dried them, made an apricot kuchen ( like my aunt always made) , made apricot sauce, and vodka infused with apricots,  brandy infused with apricots.  There is still 1/2 box of apricots left.  hmm what will today bring?   Enjoy

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