We have an apricot tree in our front yard. I am ashamed to admit I have barely pruned it over the years, barely watered it, never sprayed it and every now and then (like maybe 2 or 3 yearly?) I throw some dynamic lifter and some sulphate of potash around the base. It is MEANT to be a biennial fruiter. It did not get that memo and provides literally multiple buckets full of fruit each year. Even the year after it’s last savage prune it gave me over 50 fruit. It must just be in it’s happy place location- near the morning sun adjacent to a wall for a little protection.
One thing I hate is it reliably fruits when I want to go away on holiday. Right around Christmas to New Year. I’m often run off my feet with seasonal plans plus holidays away to pack for when it generously produces a glut of the most delicious fruit. Fruit which if not picked falls to the ground and starts rotting. Canberra is hot around that time of the year and I can barely muster the energy to cook let alone make jam. I have found a solution, I break each apricot in half to check for any worms or earwigs- rest assured they are few and far between but nevertheless I don’t want them. I then freeze the halves in small sandwich sized ziplock bags. I have tried using larger ziplock bags but once frozen the apricots are hard to chisel out where a smaller portion while fiddly initially is much easier to deal with once frozen.
Today my oldest Daughter Kitty wanted to learn to make jam. She’s moving out of home soon and wanted to know how it’s done. Now one thing anyone who makes apricot jam will tell you is that it likes to stick and burn. It laughs at you while it burns. I found a tip on another blog and trust me it worked. You throw four stainless steel forks into the mix while you boil the jam. That’s it. It repeat: IT WORKED. The jam is lovely and clear without a hint of catching. Now I know the stainless steel fork trick I may have to buy some oranges to make marmalade.
Miss Bee loved cooking with the girls. She may have eaten a few apricot pieces along the way to supervise quality. The lemon however proved a little tart for her liking. Doesn’t she look adorable in that teddy apron?