Apricots and peaches just sing out summer here in the P-O.
Members of the ‘Prunus’ family (along with plums, cherries, peaches and almonds) it is generally agreed that the apricot originated in China and was introduced into Southern Europe by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.
High in vitamins A and C, with a good amount of potassium, the intense orange colour of these feisty little fruits reflects its high content of beta-carotene and lycopene, two antioxidant compounds which promote heart health and have anticarcinogenic qualities.
Two to three apricots per day provides you with as much as 50 per cent of your daily vitamin requirements.
The Latin name of ‘praecoquum’, meaning early matured or ripened describes the climatic conditions necessary for the successful growing of this delicious fruit. Our P-O weather, fairly cold winter followed by moderately high temperatures in the spring and early summer, is pretty perfect!
If you’re not lucky enough to be able to reach out and grab an apricot from a tree in your garden, look out in the shops for a well-defined crease, a slight give to the flesh, avoid fruit with green around the stem or with shriveled skin, and most importantly, the smell should give you a preview of the taste.
- 2 lbs fresh apricots, stoned and halved
- 10 oz brown sugar
- 1 onion
- 1 tblsp salt
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 3 cloves garlic
Slice onion and garlic thinly and place all ingredients into a heavy pan.
Boil until apricots are very soft.
Remove apricots from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in clean, dry jars.
Boil the remaining liquid until a thick syrup, pour the syrup into the jars, seal and allow to cool before storing.