Goodness! What's to be done with three pounds of apricots?
Well, you could eat apricots until you never care to see another apricot again. There's also salads, crisps, tarts, jams, pickles and purées, of course.
But what of chutney? Sweet, savory, spicy and simple. You really can't go wrong with a few pints of chutney stacked in storage.
It's fantastic straight up on lamb, chicken, pork, salmon or duck, you can thin it a bit for a glaze or a fruit salad drizzle, mix up a tablespoon with a bit of canola oil and cider vinegar for a first-rate vinaigrette.
It'd be fun on vanilla ice cream or in a tart. Not to mention a pairing with cheese. A blue, perhaps? A friendly goat?
Here's my version...
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 dried chili
2 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
1 large onion, minced
3" piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 cups sake (or dry white wine)
3 lbs fresh apricots, pitted & quartered
1 1/2 Tbsp ground, dried ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp ground black pepper
1/4 c rice vinegar (or to taste)
3 T brown sugar (or to taste)
1/2 Tbsp salt (or to taste)
1. Heat the canola oil with the chili, cinnamon and star anise (no more than 1-2 minutes).
2. Add in the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add in the ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
4. Pour in the sake/wine and add apricot slices. Simmer until the apricots are tender. (Simmer a bit less if you like a chunkier chutney.) Blend in the pepper and dried ginger.
5. Strain the mixture through a colander, reserving juices. Pick out the spices and discard. Pour the reserved juices back to the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and bubbly (about 15-20 minutes).
6. Taste the thickened chutney liquid, adjusting the acid-sweetness-salt balance with a touch of rice vinegar, sugar and/or salt.
7. Incorporate the apricot pulp in the colander into the liquid in the pot. Transfer to sterilized jars (if you're canning), or cool the mixture and transfer it to prepared pint containers (for short-term refrigeration or longer-term freezing).
Makes enough to fill three pint containers, and takes around an hour from start to finish. Slap a cute homemade label on the jar, and it's great for gifting!