When apricot season came to an end, one of the farmers The Backyard Farmer works with gave him permission to clean off his trees. The fruit so abundant and ripe, it was attracting birds, which deteriorates its quality. Sorting the fruit simply took too much time for it to be worth selling. After a full day of pro bono work, the waste was reduced by about half. Even thought it was grueling and unprofitable, The Backyard Farmer, with his heart of gold is talking about doing it again at the end of peach season, which is soon., I have my fingers crossed.
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It was intoxicating to spend days with those apricots, pumping out some glorious treats from my kitchen. Of coarse we at ourselves sick, with enough apricots to account for our lunch. Next, I froze some on a sheet pan and later bagged them to have them handy for smoothies, ice cream and future desires. I made around 30 pints of apricot-honey jam using Pomona’s Pectin. I did a simple cooked sauce with pureed apricots and honey to taste for pancakes and crepes, then thickened some with arrowroot powder and used it in the center of some breakfast rolls. My favorite thing to do when I have an abundance of ripe fruit is fruit leather and apricots make the best fruit leather.
Too simple, I verbally repeated this “recipe” to almost everyone who came to my door that apricot-y day.
8 cups fruit puree
1/3 cup honey
Combine fruit and honey in a large blender. Pour about 2 cups onto a silicone baking mat or plastic wrap lined half sheet pan. Spread mixture evenly to about ½ inch from the sides. Set out in the scorching hot sun for a full day or dehydrate per dehydrator instructions or until just tacky to the touch. Peel off of the fruit and cut or store whole rolled up in parchment paper. I like to trim the edges, which store in a separate bag and eat first. You could cover you pan’s with cheese cloth while they are outside, just be careful that the cloth doesn’t touch the puree. I leave it uncovered and just pick out the little leaves that get stuck in it from the wind. It really doesn’t have to be scorching hot, it just may take longer of it is below 85 degrees, and will not work if it is very humid.