Autumn Royal Apricots

August is the high season for fruit in our backyard.  In addition to peaches and Bartlett pears, I also harvested a bunch of autumn royal apricots this week.  When I planted this apricot tree six years ago, I was hoping that it would live up to its name and that the apricots would ripen in the fall.  This year is only the second year this tree has produced fruit, and both years the fruit has ripened in August.  In retrospect, it probably would have been better to select fruit trees with different ripening schedules so that I am not overwhelmed with too much fruit from multiple trees.  On the other hand, I would rather have too much fruit than too little!

Unfortunately, most of the apricots on this tree split a few weeks ago and then began to rot at the line of splitting, before they were even ripe.  The cluster in this picture is one of the few on the tree that reached ripeness without splitting.   

There were about 150-200 apricots on the tree 2 weeks ago, but I was only able to harvest about 3 dozen apricots that were edible.  They weren’t as flavorful as Blenheim apricots.  Instead of eating them fresh, my mom and I turned them into a dozen jars of apricot jam.  

Recently, I have noticed that many recipes for apricot desserts call for apricot jam, instead of fresh apricots.  Apparently, apricot jam can be useful for much more than spreading on toast.

August 24 2008 03:25 pm | Apricots