Apricots are fragrant fruits with velvety skin, tender flesh and bone inside. For their benefit, apricots are called "fruits of health": they are rich in vitamins, microelements, flavonoids and are useful for the liver, stomach, kidneys, blood vessels, heart, lungs and brain.
In some countries where apricots are growing, fruits begin to ripen since March, and in Russia the season and harvesting of apricots begins at the end of June. In the shops and markets you can find apricots from Russia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkey. Since apricots quickly deteriorate, you need to know how to properly choose and harvest a useful fruit for the winter to enjoy the taste in the winter.
- How to choose apricots
- Preparing apricots before harvesting
- How to prepare apricots for the winter:
- jam and jam from apricots;
- compote made from apricots;
- drying of apricots.
How to choose apricots for billets
The taste and benefit of billets from apricots depends on their ripeness, since ripe fruits contain the most useful substances and have a better taste. Apricots for blanks should be bought only in the season, at this time on the shelves there are ripe and more profitable fruits at a price. The color and shape of apricots depends on the variety, and most importantly - that the fruits do not have brown spots, inclusions and soft areas.
In hard, unripe fruits, there are few nutrients and tastes, so they are not suitable for blanks. Slightly unripe fruit is suitable for making jam, natural apricots and for freezing. Slightly overripe soft fruit perfectly suited for making juice, mashed potatoes and jam. For jams, compotes and drying, it is better to choose medium soft fruits. The smell of apricots should be fragrant and saturated.
During the season it is advisable not only to prepare apricots for the winter, but also to eat them fresh, in order to supplement the body with useful substances.
Preparation of apricots before harvesting
At the first stage, apricots are picked, separating the fruits for different types of blanks. In the second stage, the fruits are gently and well washed under running water and thrown into a colander or dried on a towel.
For workpieces use apricots with or without a stone.
- If the recipe requires halves of apricots, then cut the fruit, gently with fingers divided into two slices, removing the stone.
- If whole fruits without a stone are required, a small incision is made at the base of the peduncle and the stone is gently squeezed through it.
Bones are often dried, remove the kernels and add in small amounts when preparing apricot jam and compote.
Methods of harvesting apricots for the winter
The most popular billets from apricots are jam, jam, compote and drying. When boiling, the microelements and vitamin B3 contained in the apricot remain, while the vitamins C, B6, B1, B2 are destroyed. How to prepare apricots to maximize the preservation of useful substances in them?
Jam and apricot jam
These apricot desserts are very delicious and aromatic. The disadvantage of such blanks is sugar, as it contains simple carbohydrates, which can add extra pounds.
Apricot jam is made from whole fruits with a stone or without a stone and from halves. For jam with a bone, small-fruity apricots are best. Apricots are perfectly combined with oranges and lemons, so they are often added to the jam. When preparing the main task is to preserve the integrity of the fruit, so the jam is prepared in several stages.
A simple recipe for jam from apricots:
At 700 gr.fruit without pits take 700 gr.sugar and 250 ml.water. Halves are covered with sugar for 1 hour and periodically shaken without violating the integrity. Then pour in water, bring to a boil and cook apricots for 5 minutes over low heat. Almost ready jam is completely cooled and then boiled again for 5 minutes.
Gram from apricots is prepared faster than jam. Slightly unripe fruit is great for making jam, they contain more pectin, which affects the density of jam.
Simple recipe of jam from apricots with lemon:
For 1 kg.apricots take 900 gr.sugar and half a lemon. Prepared halves of fruits are spread in a saucepan, poured with water so that it covers apricots. Bring the apricots in water to a boil and cook until the fruit is soft. Then add sugar, lemon juice and cook a fragrant jam for 1.5 hours, periodically taking off the foam. Jam is constantly stirred and kneaded halves with a spoon, so that the mass is homogeneous. Ready-made apricot jam is spread over cans and closed. Jam cools and gradually becomes thick.
Compote from apricots
The most fragrant drink for the winter will be compote of apricots. In it, fruits retain useful substances, but because of sugar, the drink becomes high-calorie. Compote is made from whole fruits or halves, for the flavor, sometimes, kernels from apricot kernels are added.
The easiest and most useful way to prepare compote is to pour prepared apricots with hot syrup. On average, three liters are taken on a 500-gram pot.apricots, 1 glass of sugar and 2.5 liters of water. Apricots are spread in sterilized jars, filled with hot syrup and covered with lids. The compote turns out to be transparent, with a rich taste and strong fruits.
Drying apricots is the best way to save more useful substances. In dried fruits, 30% of vitamins and 80% of microelements are retained. Due to the content of sugars and their concentration, dried apricot becomes high-calorie.
There are several varieties of dried apricot. Dried apricots - dried halves, kaisa - whole apricots without pits, apricots - whole small-fruited apricots with a bone, whispered - whole large apricots with a stone.
At home, it is most convenient to dry apricots for dried apricots. To prepare dried apricots, fleshy large apricots of late varieties are perfect.
- Before drying, the apricots are thoroughly washed and completely dried on a towel. Fruits are divided into halves and carefully checked for the presence of worms and larvae.
- To give the dried fruits an amber color, the halves are put into portions in a colander and held over boiling water for 10 minutes. To remove moisture, the halves are spread on the towel.
- For cooking dried apricots in natural conditions, hot sunny weather and a ventilated room( balcony, courtyard or roof) are necessary. Depending on the temperature, the drying process can take up to two weeks. The best surface for drying is a wooden grill or a surface made from woven branches.
- Half of the apricots lay skinned down next to each other and stand in the sun every day for 4-5 hours. In perfectly dried apricots, 10% moisture remains, so they become elastic and slightly soft to the touch.
- An excellent alternative to the wooden surface will be dense yarn. Halves carefully thread on the thread and hang in the sun so that the fruits do not touch each other.
- The drying process can be reduced to 12 hours if you dry the apricots in an electric dryer or oven. In the oven, the drying process takes place on a metal grate and starts at a temperature of 40 degrees, then gradually the temperature is raised to 65 degrees. The oven is opened every 2 hours to allow moisture to escape, and the halves are periodically turned over.
Apricots can also be preserved without sugar in water or in their own juice, they are prepared with mashed potatoes, jam or simply frozen. Choose any way and enjoy the summer fragrant fruits in the winter!