There was much preserving to be done after an apricot hunt through the Coal River Valley on Thursday.
Our first stop yielded 30 kilos of Moor Park variety, my personal favourite.
However, we moved on seeking more, and at another orchard we found two varieties I’d not tried before – Avarine and Golden Sweet. How would they preserve? Not sure so bought 10 kilos of each to give them a try, and a 10kg box of nectarines for good measure (they looked too delicious to resist).
Finally at Penna we found another 10 kilos of Moor Parks (organically grown).
Early next morning the preserving began – 30 kilos bottled and in the preserver before breakfast.
Soon after, our fruit-hunting companions of the day before (Michael and Roberto) arrived to help, bringing with them their 20 kilos of apricots and 10kg nectarines.
It was a busy day in the best possible way, but all was done by around 10pm.
I heard that you can steep apricot pits in vodka to make a type of Amaretto. I’ve not tried that before – researched and found a recipe, so that will be a final step. The pits have been scrubbed clean of flesh and are now drying before being immersed in the vodka.
That’s not all I learned – the Avarines and Golden Sweet preserved well and made well set jam and tasty chutney.
It was interesting to observe the different colours in the end product of each of the varieties, very noticeable.
There’s nothing like capturing the season’s bounty in a bottle, especially when it’s a team effort with friends.
So now there’s plenty to share around our respective families, a taste of summer to enjoy through the winter months, very satisfying.