Apricots are high in vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber, making them a nutritious addition to any diet, per the USDA. Their sweet taste and soft texture complement a variety of foods — they're delicious in pies and cobblers and work well with pork and poultry.
The easiest way to cook fresh apricots is to boil them and store them as preserves for serving on toast, spooning over ice cream or adding to summer salads.
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Fully ripe apricots are very soft and delicate, and are therefore a bit difficult to cook with. Look for just-ripe apricots that are slightly firm but still sweet.
Things You'll Need
2 lbs. apricots
1/4 cup water
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar
How to Boil Apricots for Preserves
- Rinse the apricots under cool running water. If dirt is visible, remove it with a kitchen scrub brush.
- Cut the fruit in half and then scoop out the pits with your fingers or a spoon. You can also just use your hands to pull the apricots apart instead of cutting them with a knife.
- Peel the skin from the apricots, if desired.
- Mix the sugar and water in a large pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer the sugar water until it thickens slightly. Do not overcook the liquid; doing so will crystallize the sugar.
- Add the apricots to the pot and simmer until the fruit begins coming apart. This may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how soft the fruit was when you started.
- Squeeze about 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice into the pot, stir well and then remove from heat.
- Allow the cooked apricots to cool before serving.
Mix up the taste of your boiled apricots by adding cinnamon, cloves or other spices to the pot about 15 minutes before they finish cooking.
How to Poach Apricots
- Clean the apricots and cut them into halves.
- Remove the pits but do not peel the apricots.
- Place the apricots into a medium saucepan and cover with water. Add cinnamon, cloves or other spices to the saucepan to enhance the flavor of the apricots.
- Poach the apricots for about 8 minutes or until very tender. They should be soft when pressed with a spoon but not to the point of falling apart.
- Remove the apricots from the poaching liquid and serve warm. Alternatively, you can store them in the refrigerator in a plastic container of fruit juice for several days.
How to Roast Apricots
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Clean and halve the apricots. Remove the pits from inside the apricots.
- Place the apricots with their cut sides facing up in a shallow roasting pan.
- Squeeze a bit of honey onto each apricot and then place 1/8 tbsp. butter into the center of each halved apricot. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the apricots.
- Roast the apricots at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, and then increase the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Baste the apricots with the juices that have collected in the roasting pan every 10 minutes until they begin to caramelize. This should take about 45 minutes.
- Serve warm.