Tuesday, January 18, 2011

10 kg of Apricots ... and so little freezer space!

Its apricot season... and cherry and nectarine and plum... And oddly enough, I’m rather thankful that strawberry season came just before my beloved stone fruits.  My family is lucky enough to have a family friend who grows the most beautiful apricots. Just right, not too mushy (though the mushiest and juiciest of stone fruits usually is the best in my opinion) and full of apricot flavour! However, like most fruits, they all choose to ripen at the same time, leaving bucket loads of fruit for only one person. Thank the world for sharing!
Our family friend came by on Monday with one full bucket of freshly picked apricots for us. My mum then decided to go shopping and returns home with a 5kg box of Apricots, which she purchased for only $5. She made jam with half of the apricots and then pitted the rest, sprinkled them with sugar and freezed them for use throughout the year.
The next day, on Tuesday our family friend came back, but this time with twice the amount of apricots. So we took out the dehydrator we borrowed from another family friend and dehydrated some of the apricots, along with cherries, strawberries and cucumbers. Note: don’t ever dehydrate cucumber, even for your curiosity, the taste is just awful! May as well eat a fresh cucumber and save yourself 6 hours!


Has dried fruit ever looked fancier? 

With the leftover apricots, we’re back to freezing them. Fortunately I grabbed a few before they were frozen and turned them into another frozen treat, also known as Frozen Yoghurt. I love frozen yoghurt! When we went to Sydney late November last year, I was on a hunt for a fro yo store. The first place I went to was called Martoni Frozen Yoghurt, and for my three days in Sydney... It was the only place I went to for a healthy and selfish serve of fro yo.
The frozen yoghurt I made tastes nothing like my fro yo from Sydney, but it still tastes great. Over the weeks I intend to create a recipe that resembles Martoni’s, but until I finish this apricotty batch, I won’t be able to.... anywhoo, If you’re in an apricot pickle like me, go ahead and make this frozen treat! Even if you’re not in an apricot pickle, make it anyway!
Apricot Fro Yo (created with fro yo making tips from The perfect Scop, by David Lebovitz)
700g apricots, (weighed after halved and pitted)
½ cup water
½  cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons honey (use any flavour you like, I used a creamed vanilla honey which I get at my farmers markets)
500g full fat yoghurt (I used sheep’s)
½ a freshly squeezed lemon
Put the apricots into a saucepan with the water and cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionaly for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through and slightly mushy, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar then chill in the refrigerator
When the apricots have cooled, put them in a food processor with the yoguhrt and lemon juice until desired consistency (smooth or slightly chunky)
Freeze the mixture according to the manufactures instructions on your ice cream maker. When it has finished churning store in the freezer, I recommend taking the frozen yoghurt out 20 minutes before serving to allow it to soften.

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