Dried Apricots 100G
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A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety skin that ranges from pale yellow to deep orange. Inside there's a large kernel that will fall out easily if the flesh is ripe.
Apricots need a warm climate to thrive - in the summer most come from hot European countries, and there's also a short winter season for apricots grown in Chile and South Africa.
Choose the best
An apricot's colour is not always a reliable guide to flavour, but steer clear of very pale varieties, and always avoid wrinkled or blemished skins. The flesh should feel moderately firm with some give.
Halve by running a blade around the kernel following the line of the fruit's natural dimple, then gently twist apart and flip out the stone. Brush the cut sides with lemon juice to prevent the flesh from discolouring.
At room temperature if not completely ripe (they'll ripen in a day or two in the fruit bowl), otherwise in the fridge.
In tarts and crumbles; poached and served with double cream; or use to make jam, compote or chutneys
Dried apricots have an intense sweet-sour flavour and are high in fibre. They make an excellent substitute for fresh apricots out of season. They can be bought dried or semi-dried.
These can be high in sulphur dioxide, which is commonly used in small quantities to prevent mould developing on the fruit. Many organic dried ones are brown because they are sun-dried: sunlight oxidises their flesh, which acts as a natural preservative. Check labels as some semi-dried apricots are infused with sugar syrup.
They contain les than 16% moisture and, when soaked, will absorb more liquid than semi-dried apricots. Use in stews, tagines and comp´tes. If very dry, simmer gently before soaking to shorten the soaking time.
Semi-dried apricots are softer than dried as they are dried, partially rehydrated, then cooled in an air dryer to make them more succulent. They dont need soaking. Use in muesli, bread, stuffing and salad.