Dried Apricots

French Receipt

Ingredients

  • Apricots, 4 lbs., scalded until tender
  • sugar4 lbs.
  • water, 1 quart: 10 minutes.
  • Apricots, in syrup, 1 minute; left 24 hours.
  • Syrup, boiled again, 10 minutes, and poured on fruit: stand 2 days.
  • Syrup, boiled again, 10 minutes, and apricots 2 to 4 minutes, or until clear.

Method

Take apricots which have attained their full growth and colour, but before they begin to soften; weigh, and wipe them lightly; make a small incision across the top of each plum, pass the point of a knife through the stalk end, and gently push out the stones without breaking the fruit; next, put the apricots into a preserving-pan, with sufficient cold water to float them easily; place it over a moderate fire, and when it begins to boil, should the apricots be quite tender, lift them out and throw them into more cold water, but simmer them, otherwise, until they are so. Take the same weight of sugar that there was of the fruit before it was stoned, and boil it for ten minutes with a quart of water to the four pounds; skim the syrup carefully, throw in the apricots (which should previously be well drained on a soft cloth, or on a sieve), simmer them for one minute, and set them by in it until the following day, then drain it from them, boil it for ten minutes, and pour it on them the instant it is taken from the fire; in forty-eight hours repeat the process, and when the syrup has boiled ten minutes, put in the apricots, and simmer them from two to four minutes, or until they look quite clear. They may be stored in the syrup until wanted for drying, or drained from it, laid separately on slates or dishes, and dried very gradually: the blanched kernels may be put inside the fruit, or added to the syrup.

Obs.โ€”The syrup should be quite thick when the apricots are put in for the last time; but both fruit and sugar vary so much in quality and in the degree of boiling which they require, that no invariable rule can be given for the latter. The apricot syrup strained very clear, and mixed with twice its measure of pale French brandy, makes an agreeable liqueur, which is much improved by infusing in it for a few days half an ounce of the fruit-kernels, blanched and bruised, to the quart of liquor.

We have found that cherries prepared by either of the receipts which we have given for preserving them with sugar, if thrown into the apricot syrup when partially dried, just scalded in it, and left for a fortnight, then drained and dried as usual, become a delicious sweetmeat. Mussel, imperatrice, or any other plums, when quite ripe, if simmered in it very gently until they are tender, and left for a few days to imbibe its flavour, then drained and finished as usual, are likewise excellent.

,