The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Apricot Butter

July 17, 2013 ,

apricots
Last Wednesday night, I waited with baited breath for my Fresh Direct order. The very short CandyCot apricot season was coming to a close, and I knew that this Fresh Direct order held my last taste of them until next summer. Next summer! God it was so far away! I was already missing the honeyed jewels of California, a taste that I had grown to crave.

I know. They are apricots. But these are no ordinary apricots; they are THE apricots that will change your thoughts on all apricots to come. They are smaller than they average commercial apricot, fleshier and less fuzzy, smooth almost like a nectarine. They taste, literally like candy with tiny honey pots speckled in the flesh, bursting on your tongue.

(Lucky Peach did a great ode to the CandyCot which you can read here.)

Needless, to say, I was really, really excited about this Fresh Direct order. They were having a sale, 2 lbs for $12. I ordered for P and B. Sr. as well. Six pounds were coming and it was a cause for celebration.

Imagine my f***ing disappointment when I received replacement boxes for all six pounds. Of course I expressed my concern, and in typical Fresh Direct fashion, they funded my money but still…

Ugh! Then, on top of all that, I had almost 8lbs of sub par sour cots. What to do, what to do? Well, first things first, I gave P two boxes. Another box went to J.

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I went with apricot butter for the rest. I have no confidence whatsoever that this came out properly. It’s not thick enough, that much I know for sure. But regardless, I was left with delicious apricot spread that is great on yogurt, and has excellent potential for ice cream and other such snacks.

Commercial apricots are in their peak time right now so go for it!

The below is from the New York Times. The vanilla bean adds an excellent bourgeois touch and I’m into it. The cooking time is not enough so keep going until you achieve your desired consistency. Ok?

PS. I skipped all the canning steps below because I don’t have time for that, nor the canning supplies. Really I just don’t have the supplies, lord knows I had the time last weekend. I included in case you want to go for it!

Enjoy!

4 pounds apricots, halved, pits removed
1 ½ vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
1 cup sugar, plus more as needed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice.

1. In a 6- or 7-quart pot set over very low heat, cook the apricots, covered, until completely soft, 60 to 90 minutes, stirring often. I put in a half cup of water to speed up the cooking process.

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2. Pass the apricots through a food mill fitted with a medium or fine screen. Return the purée to the pot.

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3. Line the bottom of a large, wide pot with a few paper towels. Set 4 clean 8-ounce jamming jars in the pot so that they do not touch. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch. Place over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, slip the jar lids into the water and simmer until you’ve finished preparing the apricot butter.

4. Meanwhile, add the vanilla bean and seeds and the sugar to the apricots and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring often, until the purée glazes the back of a wooden spoon, 10 to 15 minutes from when it starts to boil. (Wear long kitchen mitts to prevent burns; the fruit will spatter.) To check the consistency, remove the pot from the heat and place a spoonful of purée on a plate. Refrigerate for several minutes. If the apricot butter is too thin, return the pot to the heat and continue boiling until it has reached the desired consistency.

5. Add the salt and lemon juice, and sweeten to taste with more sugar if necessary. Remove the vanilla bean. Using clean tongs, remove the sterilized jars from the simmering water and shake out the water. Fill each jar with the hot apricot butter. Clean the rims of the jars to promote a good seal, then fasten the caps tightly and invert onto a wire rack to cool. Store in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator and eat within a few months. Makes 4 8-ounce jars. Adapted from June Taylor.

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