Sunday, July 27, 2014

In Season: Apricots - DIY Apricot Butter

Fruit Butters are a great way to make use of overripe fruit. They're also a bit easier to make than jellies and jams. Today, we're using the stone fruit star of the season, the Apricot, as the base for a smooth and tangy fruit butter that is irresistible by itself on bread or crackers, or, better yet, alongside butter, cream cheese, ricotta, or even sinful mascarpone. (We admit to an Apricot obsession this summer - check out our recent Apricot Mint Sorbet).

Homemade Apricot Butter, Photo: NK
We love our recipe all the more because it employs ingredients you'll find handy in your pantry (except for the fresh Apricots of course), and in just an hour and fifteen minutes' time, only a bit of which is spent actively cooking, you'll emerge from your kitchen with two cups of Apricot Butter that tastes just as good or better than anything you can find in a gourmet store. Enjoy it yourself or cool the mixture and spoon into a mason jar for a charmingly homemade hostess gift. Apricot Butter can be stored in the fridge for up to a week for a taste of summer anytime the mood strikes. 

Apricot Butter
Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
Gorgeous, ripe Apricots. Photo: NK
Yield: 2 Cups 

10 or 11 very ripe medium-sized Apricots, carefully pitted and halved
1 Cup Orange Juice
1/3 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Real Vanilla Extract
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 good pinches of Salt

1. Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Partially cover and over moderately-high heat, allow the mixture to to simmer. Stir occasionally and keep an eye on it for about 10 minutes. Apricots will become very soft.

2. Uncover the pot and and lower the flame tp just under medium. Continue to cook simmer, stirring every few minutes, until the mixture is very thick. About an hour. 

3. Scrape mixture into food processor or high powered blender (we used our Vitamix) and blend until quite smooth. Allow the mixture to cool fully before refrigerating in an airtight container. Apricot Butter will keep up to a week in the fridge. 

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