This blog is two years old today. When I first thought about blogging I was reluctant to do so because there are so many gifted bloggers with great recipes. However, with my husband’s encouragement, and because I wanted to have someplace where my family could access some of my favorite recipes, I wrote my first entry, featuring a recipe for mussels. Now this blog has become an important part of my life, a creative outlet, and I look forward to sharing each new post.
Unfortunately I have been away from the blogging world this past month. Three weeks ago I had an emergency bowel resection due to complications of Crohn’s disease. The past few weeks I have been living on a bland, soft food diet – cream of wheat, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, puréed soup, and baby food. I still have three weeks to go before I can begin eating more interesting foods, and it is a bit frustrating at the height of the garden season to be so limited, but in time I can resume a regular diet again and hopefully be healthier.
I am sharing this recipe for bottled apricots since it is now apricot season here. If you are looking for a way to preserve the flavor of fresh summer apricots, bottling them in almond syrup is a great method. It tastes much better than canned apricots from the grocery store. During the winter months we frequently pull a jar from the pantry to go with breakfast. I like the heavy almond syrup – even though the apricots float to the top of the jar because the syrup is heavier than the fruit – because you can save it, then add it to orange juice or drizzle it on other fruit. We also use the fruit and syrup to make refreshing apricot lassi and smoothies.
For this recipe you will need 1/2 bushel of blush colored apricots (or 25 lbs). It will yield 13-15 quarts of bottled apricots depending on the size of the fruit. They should be fragrant but still firm. Don’t use mushy apricots; save them for jam.
Bottled Apricots in Almond Syrup
25 lbs. blush colored ripe but firm apricots
13-15 sterilized quart jars with lids
Almond Simple Syrup
16 c. water
12 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. Fruit Fresh
2 Tbsp. almond extract
Begin by preparing a water bath. Fill a water bath canner with water and heat to a full rolling boil. In a separate small pan place canning lids and rings. Cover with water and bring to a boil to sterilize lids. In a 12 quart stockpot make the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar. Bring to a boil on high heat. When sugar is completely dissolved add fruit fresh and stir to dissolve. When ready to pack jars stir in almond extract. Wash apricots, cut in half and remove pits. Cut out any brown blemishes from the fruit. Pack apricot halves into sterilized quart jars. Fill the jar. Pour hot almond syrup over fruit to fill to within 3/4 inch of the top of the jar. Run a butter knife around the fruit to release any air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jar with a wet paper towel to remove any fruit residue or syrup. Screw lid on, but not too tightly. Place jars in boiling water bath. Return to the boil and water bath 15 minutes at sea level, or 20-25 minutes between 2000-6000 feet above sea level. Remove jars from water bath and let rest on the counter overnight. The jars should seal. If not, refrigerate any unsealed jars and eat within a few days.