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Saturday, 21 May 2011


So, my trusty Apricot Tree has had another fantastic crop this year, I think it's possibly my most favourite tree in the garden.  When it blooms it's just beautiful

06.02.09 Apricot Blossom and Bee

This year I managed to crop seven carrier bags full of ripe apricots and there were still some left on the tree as I couldn't reach them all even with a ladder.  We have been testing them for about the last 10 days, and eventually we decided that they were ripe enough.  Fresh apricots are really quite tasty, but I prefer them cooked, it seems to bring out the flavour a lot more.

I frantically scoured the internet for ideas and managed to donate a few bags too, as the problem with apricots is they just don't keep for long once they are ripe and there are only so many tins of beer that can be slung out of the fridge to make room. 

Apricot Jam was of course an obvious choice, so I boiled up 6kg of apricots to 4kg of sugar, added a touch of lemon juice and let it bubble away until it very nearly reached 220 degreesPopped it in some jars and it is now sitting in a dark cupboard for a week.  Don't really know where I got that idea from, but I'm sure you're not meant to eat it straight away.  Will let you know later how it tasted.

Next up was Apricot Upside-Down Cake

Bloody delicious if I say so myself.  I found the recipe on


For topping
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 10 or 11 small (2- to 2 1/4-inch) fresh apricots (1 1/4 lb), halved lengthwise and pitted

For cake
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • Special equipment: a 10-inchwell-seasoned cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet (at least 2 inches deep)


Preheat oven to 375°F.
Make topping:
Heat butter in skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter, then cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes (not all of sugar will be melted). Remove skillet from heat and arrange apricot halves, cut sides down, close together on top of brown sugar.
Make cake batter:
Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt into a small bowl.
Beat together butter, sugar, and extracts in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 3 to 4 minutes with a handheld. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then beat until mixture is creamy and doubled in volume, 2 to 3 minutes.
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 batches alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and beat just until combined.
Gently spoon batter over apricots and spread evenly.
Bake cake:
If your skillet isn't ovenproof, wrap handle with heavy-duty foil (or a double layer of regular foil) before baking. Bake cake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
Wearing oven mitts, immediately invert a large plate over skillet and, keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together, invert cake onto plate. Carefully lift skillet off cake and, if necessary, replace any fruit that is stuck to bottom of skillet. Cool to warm or room temperature.

I followed the recipe as it is and if I make it again, which will probably be next year now, I would half the quantities of butter and sugar for the topping as there was far too much.

Next up, was "Apricocello", basically I have  scored into about a dozen apricots, popped them in a kilner jar and left them marinating in vodka.  In about 10 days time I shall remove the apricots, add a sugar syrup, bottle it and leave it in the dark for a further 10 daysHopefully at the end of this I should have an Apricot liquer.  Will definately report back.
My freezer is now crammed with lots of stewed apricots, ready to be eaten as compote, pies or crumbles with ice-cream and I still have a few raw ones in the fridge.  Phew!!!


Vivian said...

Could you live any closer so that I can have some of that delicious Apricot upside down cake??? YUM!!

Sonriendo said...

It was quite delicious, unfortunately all my apricots are now preserved or frozen and the season for them is so very short, that I will have to wait until next year