I took a segway and spent some time yesterday harvesting apricots from our tree out back. The yield was plentiful and I feel like I haven't even made a dent. These are really flavorful Blenheim apricots, an I managed to pick three bushels full, all within reach, before the birds and squirrels get to the bounty or they fall to the ground.
We don't use spray, so these are organic, and oh so yummy! All we do is prune every year and the harvest is always worth the wait. This old tree came with the house and I haven't let DH near it. He has a way of wanting to get rid of the old. We also have a lovely Meyer lemon tree out back which he gets to prune every now and again. It produces fruit year round and I'm never in need of lemons for lemonade, dressings, recipes or just to squirt some in my water glass.
If you haven't tried Blenheim apricots, I urge you to do so. Firm, yet somewhat soft and packed with summer sweet flavor.
And here's my output, 30 jars of sweet homemade apricot jam. I spent the afternoon over the stove and a couple of trips to the store for more jars. Canning is making a comeback with the economy and the cost savings. This isn't the first year I've made jam, and it won't be the last. There's nothing quite like canning a bit of summertime flavor to enjoy year round. These have a way of disappearing around here. I give them as gifts and or bribes and the extended family and friends always seems to take home a jar or two.
I wasn't even able to use all that I picked for making jam. There is still another whole bowl full which I'll probably use to make a pie or tart tomorrow. Yum, yum, yum. The process is fairly simple. I use a recipe similar to this one for creating my batches each year. The only change I make is to put the apricot seeds in some cheesecloth, smash, and add while cooking. I then pull out the cheesecloth bag before canning. It adds a lovely nutty flavor. Oh and I add some pectin too.
I'm going to ship off a few jars tomorrow to some unsuspecting on-line friends who have given my little corner of the world a smile lately. Want to be included and win a jar of some fantastic home made organic jam? Leave us a comment and tell me why you deserve one. What have you done to bring some joy into the life of someone you know, via the Internet, lately?