Fresh apricots are loose-stoned fruit that range in colour from pale yellow to flushed pink. When ripe, their flesh is sweet, soft and juicy.
Apricots are at their best and cheapest in July, but avoid any fruit that feels spongy.
Apricots can vary greatly in quality. If they taste woolly and bland when eaten fresh, cook them into a dish and they will become luscious and flavoursome. Apricots make excellent jam if cooked with sugar and lemon juice. Apricot jam is used as a glaze on pastries and to stick cakes such as sachertorte together. Melt the jam with water and strain before applying. The strong sweet-sour taste of apricots makes them popular in desserts and sauces. Vanilla or distilled rosewater taste particularly good with them. For an extra rich pie, cook halved apricots in unsalted butter and sugar before baking.
Article by Sybil Kapoor
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