The season for fresh apricots is short and one way of extending the enjoyment of these beautiful fruits is in this bottled apricots recipe. It's such a simple recipe and, when the dark winter months come, you can open a jar of apricots for a taste of summer sunshine.
Use these lovely preserved apricots in pies, cakes, desserts, or simply eat them with a spoon.
To make the bottled apricots, you will need canning jars (probably 2-quart jars or 4-pint jars) that can be found in most supermarkets these days. At first, these jars will seem to be very costly, but they will last for years and can be used over and over again for new canning projects.
- 2 pints/1.2 liters water
- 26 ounces/750 grams sugar
- 2 1/4 pounds/1 killograms apricots (washed, halved, stone removed)
- 1 vanilla pod (split down the center)
Gather the ingredients.
Place the water and sugar into a large nonreactive pan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring the sugar water to a boil, reduce by one-third then leave to cool.
Pack the halved, pitted apricots into canning jars with the cut side facing down. Divide the vanilla pod between the number of jars you have filled with apricots.
Fill each jar with the cold syrup up to the lip of the jar, leaving an inch or so clear at the top. Cover with a lid and screw on.
Place the jars in a large pan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 25 minutes. Leave to cool.
The next day, repeat the boiling again, this time boiling for 15 minutes.
- The apricots will keep in a cool, dark space for up to 6 months unopened.
- Once opened, refrigerate and use within a couple of days. The apricots are delicious served with ice cream, on top of puddings, or as a filling for tarts and pastries. Try them in a queen of puddings recipe—yummy.
- Try adding a couple of cloves to the jars before sealing. Do not be tempted to add more than one or two to each bottle; cloves have a way of taking over and the flavor might become too dominant for the sweet apricots.
- Before closing the jars, add a little Cognac or brandy to the jar. In this recipe, these apricots will not become boozy, or alcoholic, it will just add extra flavor.
- For a really autumnal spicing of the apricots, add a cinnamon stick and one star anise seed pod to each jar before closing. The heavily scented spicing turns the apricots into an earthy, fall dish, just perfect to add to a crumble or a pie.