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Evil Queen
06-30-2011, 05:26 AM
I have so many! I just put away 9 pounds in the freezer and have a massive grocery bag left to go through. The Boyfriend and I made Apricot Preserves last night. It's certainly enough to last ME a while!

I have a big apricot tree in my front year. The year I moved into the house (two years this August) I was told that the tree had NEVER had apricots, but that wasn't unusual around here. Last year, I really hoped for apricots and didn't get ANY. So The Boyfriend and I trimmed the tree over the Winter, fertilized it and set a drip line out to it so it can get some water. This year we have BILLIONS. I already gave my mom a ton of apricots -- which, after weighing some a mere 10 minutes ago have realized I just gave her closer to 15 lbs than the 5 we originally thought! We made a tiny tiny dent in the amount of apricots left on the tree today. We've been picking every evening for nearly a week!

I gave some away to the nice neighbor lady down the street.

I'll be taking some to work to get turned into Apricot Gelato.

We have 10+ pounds left in the fridge to process. We're now looking up wine methods.

What else can I do with these things?! :cry:

(The 9 pounds I put in the freezer, haha, The Boyfriend told me that if we'd purchased them at the local grocery store, it would have cost us $27)

Next year, we're going to try to sell them at the Farmer's Market. This year they're too small to make it worth it.

RetailWorkhorse
06-30-2011, 05:47 AM
APOCOTS.

I EATED DEM.

Evil Queen
06-30-2011, 05:56 AM
DO YOU WANT MOAR?!?

Please take them. :cry:

Mishi
06-30-2011, 05:56 AM
So jealous! I want them badly. Badly enough that I've got two tiny saplings even though I'm just out of the right climate area. *crosses fingers*

RetailWorkhorse
06-30-2011, 05:59 AM
DO YOU WANT MOAR?!?

Newp. :D

Do you know what you need?

The Fruit Mafia to strike.

GO.

BE FRUITY AT PEOPLE.

Evil Queen
06-30-2011, 06:12 AM
Fruit Mafia, I missed that so much.

Mishi, good luck with your little saplings! It'll take many many years before your tree bears fruit but I hope it does! It's too bad you're in Aussie Land. I would have happy to give you a crate or 3.

fireheart
06-30-2011, 06:55 AM
Fruit Mafia, I missed that so much.

Mishi, good luck with your little saplings! It'll take many many years before your tree bears fruit but I hope it does! It's too bad you're in Aussie Land. I would have happy to give you a crate or 3.

Same deal, I would've taken the odd crate. I love my apricots :D

:lol: Fruit Mafia. So....we have Don Apple, Orange the Squealer, Prune Tightlips, Banana Of Doom......:p

RetailWorkhorse
06-30-2011, 06:58 AM
Pear's the Moocher. :eyewaggle:

Shpepper
06-30-2011, 06:59 AM
Apricot pineapple preserves are wonderful. Also, call your local food bank and ask if they accept produce from peoples trees. They might even have people that will come and pick them for you.

Seshat
06-30-2011, 08:44 AM
Stick 'em in a jar and pour scotch or vodka over them. Apricot liqueur. :)

Marmalady
06-30-2011, 08:51 AM
Evil Queen, I have a wonderful recipe for mincemeat using apricots and almonds, I can send it to you if you would like?

Jester
06-30-2011, 12:14 PM
What else can I do with these things?!

Dried apricots.

I have no idea how to make them, but I am sure you can find it on the net. And dried apricots are basically fruit crack that my grandma turned me on to. It's like candy, only healthier!

Kittish
06-30-2011, 12:29 PM
I second dried apricots, and I DO know how to make them.

Clean them really well, and pick ones that don't have any bruising or rotten spots. Cut them in half and remove the pit. You can cut them into quarters if you want, though I don't know if that will speed up the drying time significantly. Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet, cut side facing up and put them in your oven on the lowest setting you can get it on. If the lowest setting is 200 or higher (the warm setting is usually around that if I recall), prop open the door a bit with the handle of a wooden or metal utensil. It'll probably take a few days to get them properly dried out.

It's ok to turn the oven off for a bit if you're going out for a while, just turn it back on when you get home again. When they've shrunk to half their original size or less and they're all leathery, they should be just about done.

Have you thought about simply pureeing some of the apricots to use in cakes and sauces and such? Freeze it in 6 to 8 oz batches if you have the containers. Plus, as puree they'll take up less room in the freezer than whole or even diced fruit does.

My boyfriend's parents have some young apricot trees, but didn't get any fruit this year thanks to a late freeze. Can't wait til they get big enough to have more fruit than they can use, I love homemade apricot preserves and dried apricots (and dried apricot bits are amazing in fudge) and no doubt I'd find dozens of other things to use them in.

AdminAssistant
06-30-2011, 12:53 PM
Apricot pie? Apricot cobbler? Grilled apricots?

Mishi
06-30-2011, 12:57 PM
Thanks! I know it will take forever, but it's worth the wait. I wish I could have a few crates of your apricots though, homegrown fruit always tastes awesome! I have loads of raspberries at the moment. :D

thansal
06-30-2011, 03:06 PM
Yes, Dried!

Then chop em up and put em on/in ice cream!

Or just make fresh apricot icecream (I don't know how that works, but my dad used to always make peach icecream).

My mum is a dried fruit nut, and I bought her some excellent ones off of woot.com for XMass this year, and they have mostly been icecream topping :P

Irving Patrick Freleigh
06-30-2011, 03:28 PM
Stick 'em in a jar and pour scotch or vodka over them. Apricot liqueur. :)

I endorse this. :cheers:

RetailWorkhorse
06-30-2011, 03:51 PM
Stick 'em in a jar and pour scotch or vodka over them. Apricot liqueur. :)

I ALSO endorse this.

APOCOT BRANDY! :D

kpzra
06-30-2011, 03:57 PM
Oh man, I WISH we had some up here...or any good, fresh fruit. I'd go for drying them, but I also have a food dehydrator so I use that a bit.

Dave1982
06-30-2011, 04:27 PM
It really is amazing what a trim and proper nutrition can do to a fruit tree.

We've got an apple tree in our yard, and since there's an apple orchard in town the tree always gets fertilized. But whether or not we'd get decent apples was always hit or miss. Then a few years ago we had a professional come in to prune the tree (which was getting big and encroaching on the porch). Now, as long as we keep up on the spraying, we can always get lots of delicious apples.

Food Lady
06-30-2011, 04:39 PM
When I was growing up we had some plum, apricot, and peach trees. There were so many fruits that the birds had a ball. Mom liked to eat them straight, so she didn't really make stuff, maybe occasionally apricot preserves. That's one of my favorite flavors. I suppose you could do all the usual peach recipes with apricots: cobbler (maybe with blackberries), tarts, broiled with a bit of brown sugar & cinnamon, in yogurt.

Dilorenzo
06-30-2011, 07:16 PM
I'm not allowed to read food threads on here anymore. I started chewing through my necklace type thing when reading some of those.

Shpepper
06-30-2011, 07:42 PM
if you decide to make the liqueurs, remember that you will need gallon jars and use a minimum of 1 pound of fruit to one pound of sugar to a fifth of alcohol. If you want more fruit for eating, add more. You will get better flavor adding the sugar to the mix. I've made this several times with cherries and it is wonderful. Let it age for a couple weeks, monitoring the fruit. The softer the fruit, the less time it takes. I left cherries in vodka for over a year. They were amazing, you won't want to do that with apricots though. A week or 2 should be sufficient.

42_42_42
06-30-2011, 08:22 PM
You can use a food dehydrater/jerky maker to dry the apricots as well. Try looking up apricots on epicurious.com for some recipes to use up some of the fresh ones.

Evil Queen
07-01-2011, 04:59 AM
Enough with dried apricots!

The Boyfriend and I have a dehydrator and we attempted to make dried apricots. However, they oxidized (turned brown) and grew mushy without drying out properly. Basically, we hastened the rotting and it just turned out badly. I have no idea what we did wrong. We're going to attempt it again, this time using a stronger ascorbic acid solution (vitamin C).

Recipes, I'd be happy to have them! Very soon I'll be making a cobbler with them.

42_42_42
07-01-2011, 05:08 AM
a lot of dried apricots have sulfur added to them somehow to keep them from turning brown.

Evil Queen
07-01-2011, 05:12 AM
...oh.

See, I knew that... but I didn't think of that.

RetailWorkhorse
07-01-2011, 05:14 AM
*Points and cackles*

Jester
07-01-2011, 05:45 AM
I don't know about apricots or dried fruit in general, but I do know that a lot of fruits (apples and avocados, for example) have lemon juice added to them to prevent browning/oxidization.

Just a thought.

Shpepper
07-01-2011, 06:27 AM
Id drying them in whole pieces doesn't work, try making fruit leather. I do know you can make it from apricots. It's pretty much a thin layer of puree dried. Google for recipes. i don't have any personally, but it's another way to dry them.

dalesys
07-01-2011, 12:43 PM
For anyone considering planting apricots I strongly recommend Stark's Sweetheart! (and similar)

I consider apricots the prime canned fruit & juice, but the Sweetheart is fantastic fresh. Most apricots progress green (astringent), ripe (momentary), mushy.
The Sweethearts have a honey-nectar flavor, are edible when greenish, and stay firm longer. Also, the pits are sweet and edible (almonds!), though I recommend
visegrips to crack them.

My mother served canned apricots at one sister's wedding breakfast. The new inlaws (from Connecticut) wondered why the 'dwarf peaches' hadn't been peeled.:roll:

Evil Queen
07-01-2011, 03:48 PM
I have no idea what kind I have. The tree came with the house.

dalesys
07-01-2011, 04:08 PM
I have no idea what kind I have. The tree came with the house.
Plant moooore!

Evil Queen
07-01-2011, 04:30 PM
This tree is HUGE enough! It's definitely a full grown tree.

However, The Boyfriend and I just planted 3 Bing Cherries (2 dwarf, 1 full grown), a Pomegranate, Pears, Peaches and blueberries. All the trees are dwarf so we have a nice little orchard started.

And yes, we have another apricot that we'll be planting in the front yard. I'm not expecting any fruit this year (planted late) or next year but I'm really hoping next year they'll be all nice and green and well grown.

I even have a small blood orange dwarf but it's not doing so well since we took it home from the nursery. :(

Mishi
07-02-2011, 04:18 AM
I even have a small blood orange dwarf but it's not doing so well since we took it home from the nursery. :(

I have one too, and it's held on for 2 years so far even though it looked a bit sickly. It's still small and a bit sad-looking, but getting better with a regular dose of fish-fertilizer (Charlie Carp).

Evil Queen
07-02-2011, 05:11 AM
I'll have to try that. So far I've just tried adding a high nitrogen fertilizer. We'll see how well it works in a couple more days.

Didn't we used to have a gardening thread?

taxguykarl
07-02-2011, 03:36 PM
Consider purchasing a food dehydrator. Consider also apricot butter--like all other fruit butters it's comically easy. As for usage consider gift baskets at Christmas time. I grow a variety of fruits and veggies myself and this is how we do our Christmas gift shopping. You can find a bunch of nice baskets at any most dollar stores and the packing materials and wrapping at any big box art supply house (I found some at my local wally world). From there the it's just a matter of shipping.

Evil Queen
07-02-2011, 04:34 PM
I already own a dehydrator. We're probably going to start a new batch of apricots this evening (I get off work at 6).

I finished canning my Apricot Preserves last night. 8 half pints and 2 full pints.

Before I go to work, I'll have a batch of Apricot Cobbler in the solar oven, hopefully to be ready by the time I get home tonight. (I tested the oven with baked beans yesterday and they came out splendidly.)

I guess I should rename the thread to Adventures in Apricots as I try to come up with all the different ways to use the stupid (but delicious) things.

Jester
07-02-2011, 04:39 PM
Id drying them in whole pieces doesn't work...

Um, say what? It has to work to a degree, as every dried apricot I've ever had has clearly been a piece of the fruit, rather than pureed sheets. If the dried fruit companies can do it that way, why can't home driers?

The new inlaws (from Connecticut) wondered why the 'dwarf peaches' hadn't been peeled.:roll:

But why would you peel peaches in the first place? :headscratch:

You can find a bunch of nice baskets at any most dollar stores and the packing materials and wrapping at any big box art supply house.

You can usually find a nice selection of baskets at most art supply stores, too.

What? You act like I've never been in an art supply store! I don't JUST drink beer and yell at TV's in sports bars, thank you very much!

And, completely off topic:

Ridiculous 2009 Predictions: Evil Queen will beat Martha Stewart to death with a muffin pan. All hail Evil Queen! (Some things don't need elaboration.....) -- Jester

Ridiculous 2010 Predictions: Evil Queen, after escaping prison for last years prediction, goes out and waffle irons Rachel Ray to death. -- SG15Z

Ridiculous 2011 Prediction: Evil Queen will beat Gordon Ramsay over the head with a cast-iron skillet. -- FireHeart

Anyone else notice a disturbing trend here? :lol:

Evil Queen
07-02-2011, 04:45 PM
*whistles innocently*

Hey Jester, you're a man who knows his alcohols (yes, I know, you dislike vodka very much). What do you know about making alcohols, like a liquor?

Jester
07-02-2011, 04:50 PM
Honestly, EQ, not much. I mean, I've taken the Jack Daniels Distillery tour, and I understand the basic processes of brewing and distilling, but I have never attempted nor had any desire to attempt making my own liquors, beers, or wines, and I probably could not explain the distillation process to anyone, let alone myself. Hell, I can barely explain the Solera system for aging rums, and I'm a rum guy....don't ask me to explain how they actually MAKE it.

That being said, there are some great sites that can explain very intelligently that which I cannot. I would post them here, but I don't even know what they are....but any decent googler can find them.

Any other questions I can't answer? :lol:

taxguykarl
07-02-2011, 06:24 PM
You can usually find a nice selection of baskets at most art supply stores, too.True, but they start at $5 at my local Michael's & Hobby Lobby. From the pic you can see how far that would set me back and those are the ones that have to be shipped--about another back section full for the relative in my neck of the woods.
What do you know about making alcohols, like a liquor?I have made quite a few good beers and wines. Wine kits are cheap and you can burn up a search engine finding apricot wine recipes. A place to start. (http://www.winemakermag.com/new)

Shpepper
07-02-2011, 08:14 PM
Um, say what? It has to work to a degree, as every dried apricot I've ever had has clearly been a piece of the fruit, rather than pureed sheets. If the dried fruit companies can do it that way, why can't home driers?

This was in reference to her saying that she was having trouble drying the fruit whole. So I was offering another option.

Mishi
07-03-2011, 12:12 AM
One of my favourite blogs: http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/
It has liquor, jam, jelly and other yummy recipes as well as handy household and gardening tips. The search function is part way down on the right hand side.

Evil Queen
07-03-2011, 03:11 AM
Well, I pulled a recipe from roanoke.com, which pulled a recipe from a book called "Infused: 100+ Recipes for Infused Liqueurs and Cocktails".

We'll see how it turns out in two months. I put the mixture together while I was on break from work this afternoon.

Marmalady
07-03-2011, 07:55 AM
Mishi, I love that site! It was there that I got my recipe for sloe and bramley apple jelly, and it is seriously good!
EQ, shall I message you with the apricot mincemeat recipe? Or if anyone else would like it, I can post it here?

Evil Queen
07-03-2011, 05:27 PM
I hate mincemeat.

But my Dad loves it. So yes, please post the recipe here for all to share. :)

Marmalady
07-04-2011, 09:13 AM
OK everyone, get your aprons on and wash your hands!
This mincemeat is a bit unusual, it contains fresh fruit as well as dried, and no suet.

Apricot and almond mincemeat.

Ingredients:
1 kg apricots
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 or 3 oranges (you need 200 ml of juice)
500 g pears, peeled, cored and chopped into 1 cm cubes
200 g currants
200 g raisins
200 g sultanas
100 g orange marmalade
250 g demerara sugar
half a teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
half a nutmeg, grated
50 ml ginger wine or cordial (optional)
100 g chopped almonds
50 ml apricot brandy

Wash the apricots, halve and stone them, then put into a saucepan with the orange juice. Cook gently until tender, then blend to a puree in a liquidiser or push through a sieve. You should end up with about 700 ml apricot puree.

Put the puree into a large bowl, then add all the other ingredients except the apricot brandy. Mix thoroughly, then cover and leave to stand for 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 130 degrees C. Put the mincemeat in a large baking dish and bake, uncovered, for 2 hours. Remove form the oven and stir in the brandy, then spoon into warm, sterilised jars, making sure there are no air pockets. Seal the jars (I use the waxed discs and cellophane covers) and store in a dry, dark, cool place. Use within 12 months.

(A lovely variation is to replace the apricots with plums, the almonds with walnuts, the pears with russet apples, and the apricot brandy with dark brandy or sloe gin).

teh_blumchenkinder
07-04-2011, 09:39 AM
consider donations to places like churches, food banks, and homeless shelters. They'll be happy about it! That's a lot o' fruitings! :D I'm excited for you!
I hear that trees take anywhere from two to five years to produce their first fruits... >_>
Anyway. I take it you plan on living in Place for a bit? :lol: I'm totally jellies. ... There are recipes out there for quick-jellies/jams, as well as ice creams and such. You could candy things... maybe not so much for the apricots...

pitmonkey
07-05-2011, 02:39 AM
I can the apricots in qt jars with a medium syrup, then I make apricot nectar. You puree a qt of fruit in the blender. Then you put a qt of ice and water in the blender, add about 1c sager (more or less to taste) blend to crush ice. Mix all together. This does not last long at our place