June 25, 2013

Apricot Nectar

How to make the best apricot nectar:

Instead of those monster, monotone supermarket ones, use petite, melting, bicolored beauties. Real apricots. This is much more easily-done if you grow your own - or you happen to have generous neighbors.  

  A perfectly ripe apricot will not split easily, it will squish before it does, the perfumed juice dripping allover hands. 
They are precious, each fruit treasured; their season is short and in the blink of an eye they are gone for another whole year.
The smell of the apricot halves cooking down is absolute heaven; tasting the finished nectar is even better. This recipe captures the essence of apricots, a sweet distillation of the dry days and warm nights needed for the proper growth of the fruit.
Ethereal on the palate and an immense pleasure just to gaze at, it is the very color of the morning sun.
I suggest this nectar tempered with an equal measure of ice and water combined as a refreshing drink.
It is also perfect as a base for amazing barbecue sauce. Enjoy! 

Apricot Nectar

4 lbs apricots, halved & pitted (10 cups)
3 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
6 TBSP lemon juice - juice of two lemons

  Combine apricots & water in a large saucepan, cover, and simmer over medium-low for 10-15 minutes, until apricots are soft and breaking down. Then,
puree with an immersion blender.  Strain through sieve back into pot.
Add sugar & lemon juice.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often.
Ladle into pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.  Cap, and
process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Makes 4 1/2 pints

originally from The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves by Linda Ziedrich

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