All Things Apricot

It seems that we tend to do what our mothers did...I have fond memories of my mother canning all of the fruit and vegetables from our backyard. I also know that Carol (Lara and Brad's mother) has done lots of canning in her life...

Lara and I have been canning all things apricot over the past couple of days...


Here's the process:



Here are the FRUITS of our labor:



We still have tons of fruit on our rockin' apricot tree even though we have already picked all that we can handle and some other people have come and gotten some as well. We don't have a ladder so there are a lot of good ones near the top. Anyway, the point of all of that was to say please come and help yourself to whatever is still on our tree, but bring a ladder if you can...



RECIPES:

Apricot Jam

4 cups blended apricot (somewhat chunky)
1 cup crushed pineapple (drain juice)
1 package pectin
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 1/2 cups sugar

Bring first four ingredients to a rolling boil on high and then add sugar.
Bring back to a rolling boil and let boil for one minute. Then immediately
ladle into clean jars and put on the lid and ring tightly and securely.
Turn it upside down on a towel and the heat of the jam will seal the jar.

This is a modified recipe with the addition of the crushed pineapple.
This allows you to add less sugar...we end up cutting the sugar from
the original recipe in half. Yeah!

Apricot Syrup

4 cups of liquefied apricot
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar

Mix all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes and
then ladle into clean jars and put on the lid and ring tightly and securely.
Turn it upside down on a towel and the heat of the jam will seal the jar.

Apricot Pie Filling

8 lbs of fruit (peach, nectarine, apricot)
7 cups sugar
2 cups Clear Jel
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 3/4 cups lemon juice
1 tsp almond extract

Wash peaches or nectarines, peel peaches and cut fruit into 1/2 inch slices.

To prevent darkening, place fruit in ascorbic acid solution (this can be found right next to the canning supplies in your local stores, it's in a small green canister); drain well. Measure 24 cups fruit. Set aside.

In a 8-quart dutch oven or pot heat about 6 cups water to boiling.

Add 6 cups peach slices; return to boiling. Boil for 1 minute.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches to a large bowl; cover.

Repeat with remaining fruit, 6 cups at a time.

Drain water from the pot.

In same pot combine sugar, Clear Jell, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir in the 4 1/2 cups water.

Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to boil.

Add the lemon juice; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in the almond extract.

Immediately add fruit, stirring gently to coat.

Heat for three minutes.

Spoon hot fruit mixture into hot, clean, sterile quart size canning jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims, and adjust lids.

Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 30 minutes.

Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.

Makes 6 quarts (enough for 6 pies).

To use pie filling: Spoon 1 quart filling into a pastry lined 9-inch pie pan. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. Cut slits in top crust; adjust top crust. Seal and flute edges. Cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes; remove foil. Bake 25-30 minutes more or until pastry is golden.

No Fail Pie Crust

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups shortening
1 egg
1 Tbsp vinegar plus ice water to equal 1 cup

Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly with lumps the size of peas. Combine egg and water-vinegar mixture. Gradually add to flour mixture, adding just enough to form a workable dough. Divide dough into six balls and flatten slightly. Wrap each flattened disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Remove one disk from refrigerator at a time and roll between floured squares of waxed paper or on lightly floured board to 1/4" thickness and diameter about 1" larger than pie pan.

To bake blind (single crust, no filling), preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fold dough in quarters and transfer to pie pan. Trim and finish edge as desired and prick entire surface with tines of fork. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Method 1: Remove from refrigerator and line prepared crust with waxed paper. Fill about half way with pie weights, dried beans, rice, etc. Bake for about 10 minutes then remove waxed paper and weights and cook an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown. If necessary, shield the edges with foil if they are browning too fast. Method 2: Remove from refrigerator and bake for 10-12 minutes. If the crust begins to bubble in the oven, prick lightly to release. Cool completely begore adding desired filling. Yield: 12 single crust pie shells.

To bake a double crust pie, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fold one crust in quarters and transfer to pie pan. Refrigerate bottom crust while preparing filling and top crust. Prepare filling as desired. Roll top crust in same manner as bottom crust. Fold into fourths and cut slits to vent. Remove bottom crust from refrigerator and fill with prepared filling. Transfer prepared top crust onto filling and trim edgers and 3/4" lager than pie pan. (Optional: Brush bottom edge lightly with milk to guarantee seal.) Fold top edges under edges of bottom crust and finish edge as desired. Bake as directed for desired filling. Yield: 3 double pie crusts.

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