When to Buy/In Season: June and July.
- How to Select
Look for plump, juice, orange-yellow apricots. Ripe fruit yield to gentle pressure on the skin, just beginning to soften but not mushy. Avoid dull-looking, shriveled or soft fruit. Apricots should have a rich fragrance, somewhat citrusy or cinnamony, matching the rich flavor. The flesh should be juicy with a fine texture.Apricots picked before they are ripe will soften with time, but not sweeten.
- Organic Issues
Apricots are very sensitive to diseases and pests. Organic farmers use nontoxic controls such as planting disease-resistant varieties, using parasitic wasps, and sex pheromones to interrupt mating of the oriental fruit month, a major pest. Organic apricots are often sprayed with elemental sulfur or other natural products, so people sensitive to sulfur should be cautious.
- How to Store
store fresh apricots in the refrigerator for up to 2 – 3 days.
Apricots release ethylene, which can spoil some produce. Store apricots away from:
Lettuce and other leafy greens
To Freeze Fresh Apricots:
Select firm, ripe, uniformly yellow apricots. Sort, wash, halve and pit. Peel and slice if desired.
Blanch: If apricots are not peeled, heat them in boiling water 30 seconds to keep skins from toughening during freezing. Cool in cold water and drain.
Choose a style of freezing with sugar or without sugar:
Sugar Pack: Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid in 3 tablespoons cold water and sprinkle over 1 quart (7/8 pound) of fruit. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with each quart of fruit. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pack apricots into containers and press down until fruit is covered with juice, leaving headspace. Place a small piece of crumpled water-resistant paper on top to hold fruit down. Seal and freeze.
Syrup Pack: Use ½ cup sugar per quart of water. For a better quality frozen product, add 3/4 teaspoon (2250 mg) ascorbic acid to each quart of syrup. Pack apricots directly into containers. Cover with syrup, leaving headspace. Place a small piece of crumpled water-resistant paper on top to hold fruit down. Seal and freeze.
Freeze apricots in moisture and vapor-proof container. Store freezer freshly frozen apricots in the freezer for 6 months.
See our Basics of Canning Fruit at Home
Home Canned fruits can be stored for up to 1 year; they may lose quality after that point. Commercially canned fruit can be stored up to 3 years.
See our Basics of Drying Fruit at Home
To dry apricots, chose any firm apricot with a deep yellow to orange color. Wash, cut in half, and remove pits. Pretreat by dipping if desired. Dry at 130F until pliable with no moisture pockets. Water content is 85%.
Dried fruit may be stored 6 – 12 months at room temperature, or indefinitely in the freezer.
Apricots for drying are picked at peak ripeness and have better flavor than out of season or early apricots. They can be used directly or reconstituted by simmering in water.
Storeroom temp: up to 6 months
Store freezer: 12 months