What's In Season: Apricots

Sweet and tart at the same time. A luscious summer fruit.

Sources: Field Guide to Produce by Aliza Green; California Apricot Council

What's In Season: Apricots

Sweet and tart at the same time. A luscious summer fruit.

Sources: Field Guide to Produce by Aliza Green; California Apricot Council

Apricots.  Just the name can make your mouth water and your senses become active.  Some of the most memorable women's perfumes are tinged with its scent.  The pale orange color of the fruit's skin and darker inner pulp is so distinctive that a crowd of decorators would easily agree which paint chip deserved the name.  The fruit is velvety and appealing to hold and touch.  And oh, that fragrance.

The fruit itself is a color richer than its outer skin.  And whether eaten raw or cooked, the flavor manages to uniquely combine peach-like-sweet with tang.  High in beta carotene and lycopene, apricots are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber, and an average-sized apricot has only about 17 calories.

Most of the year it's best to eat dried or canned apricots.  Both California and Turkish dried apricots are very flavorful and satisfying and can be easily used in a range of recipes including savory stuffings, chutneys, cookies, fruit tarts, and with duck or pork.  But the great apricot experience comes from when they are fresh and in season, from late spring through the summer.

Most of the fresh apricots we buy in New York are grown in California.  Some are also imported from what's called the apricot belt, from Turkey to Turkistan, as well as from Australia and New Zealand.

How to Buy Apricots

Here's the thing about buying fresh apricots:  all too often they just don’t taste half as good as they look.  It's easy to fall in love with a stack of golden orange fruit only to get one home and discover it has no flavor.

To increase your odds of getting a great apricot experience, here are some things to keep in mind:


Storing and Cooking

Refrigerate stored apricots in a plastic or paper bag for up to 2 days.  Then let the fruit soften at room temperature for a day or two before eating or cooking with them.

If you need to accelerate the ripening process, put the apricots in a brown paper bag and leave at room temperature for a day or two.  Wash apricots before serving or cooking with them.

Apricots are wonderful in a wide range of recipes.  For example:


While I love apricots in savory dishes, if I find perfect fresh ones I can't resist making a fruit tart.  I've included a link to a Gourmet magazine recipe for "Apricot Galette," an easy-to-make fruit tart that uses store-bought frozen puff pastry as its base.   Even if you're not often a baker, this is the kind of dessert recipe that you should attempt because once you master it for apricots, you can use the same method with plums or apples or other non-juicy fruit. 

Category

Tags

ApricotsJuneJulyAugust

External Links

Newsletter Sign-Up

Comforting: Like Fresh Pasta

required

required

required

The City Cook Newsletter
required

More What's In Season

indeterminate-cloistered