August 12, 2013

Tropical Heat Pickled Apricots

Ingredients:
9 large apricots, pitted and halved
1 cup water
1 1/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
12 Sarawak black peppercorns
2 whole star anise
2 1/4-inch thick cubes fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons large unsweetened coconut flakes
2 fish peppers, diced

Directions:
Prep your jars/lids. Evenly divide the spices and apricots halves between 2 pint jars. Combine the water, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour brine over the apricots, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove any bubbles. Seal and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Allow to sit one week prior to eating.


Yield: 2 pints



Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here is a bunch of other canning books and equipment I find useful.

My thoughts:
Some apricots were tossed into that huge box of peaches I made jam out of. I love apricots but they are pretty fragile and it can be tricky to get a hold of some good, unbruised ones. These made it unscathed but I didn't know what to do with them. They were on the large size, but I'd still need a ton to make jam. Instead, I decided to take advantage of the apricots being nearly as big around as a mason jar and pickle some halves. I just stacked them one on top of each other in 2 regular mouth pint jars. I didn't peel them (though you could) because the skin is perfectly tasty and edible even after pickling. I went for a tropical theme to the flavors to mix it up a bit and used fresh ginger, giant coconut flakes, mustard seeds, star anise and fish peppers (you could use cayenne peppers instead) from my garden for a bit of heat. I also used brown sugar instead of white for a light caramel flavor. They are fantastic! Try them on a cheese plate, in a sandwich or in a salad.

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