Right around this time last year, My Berlin Kitchen, Luisa Weiss’s beautiful memoir, was published. I got a copy when it first came out and read the whole thing in less than a day. As soon as I had a few moments, I used her recipe for spiced plum butter and made some of the most luscious, silky plum preserves.
It was such a nice style of preserve-making that I used it again a few weeks back on apricots instead of plums (without really meaning to, I’ve canned my way through nearly 50 pounds of apricots this year). I quartered them, combined them with a little honey and a few spices, and roasted them until they slumped and were slightly caramelized around the edges. Once they were entirely soft, I used an immersion blender to puree them and then canned up the resulting apricot goodness in half pint jars.
I hesitated to write about this apricot and honey butter because their season is mostly over for the year. However, I thought it couldn’t hurt to plant a seed now, for next year when the apricots return again. I also thought it was good timing to share this adaptation of Luisa’s technique because her glorious book came out in paperback last week. If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it (I also recommend her plum butter. And the season’s not yet over for Italian plum prunes!).
And here are the specifics for my apricot approach. I used four pounds of pitted and quarters plums and 1 pound of honey. For one batch, I used 1 cinnamon stick and 2 cloves like Luisa suggests for her plums (it was delicious). For the second batch, I tied a heaping tablespoon of dried lavender buds up in a length of cheesecloth and let them sit with the fruit and honey overnight. The next day, I fished it out and roasted the fruit just as the plum recipe describes. This one may be my very favorite preserve of the year.
Oh, wow. Could you do this with peaches, too?
I’ve not tried it, but I imagine you could!
Marisa, I don’t know how last year’s plum preserves post escaped my attention but thank goodness you posted the apricots and a link to the plums. I will indeed keep the apricot recipe in mind for next year. Even if I could find some late-season beauties, there just isn’t time on my schedule to add them to the preserving list. But with a half-tree’s worth of Italian Plums to be harvested and processed (two dehydrators running full tilt right now!) the plum preserves will definitely be tried. There is also some reading time coming up in my future and I will be sure to find a copy of this lovely book.
y’know, here’s the thing: you post such lovely pictures and descriptions that, despite the fact my shelves are already full to overflowing with this year’s harvest, i feel compelled to make a batch of this, if i can score any more apricots at the farmer’s market this morning. 🙂
Could you tell me what kind of pan you are using? It looks great for this method, and almost filled to the top with fruit.
I love My Berlin Kitchen, and Louisa. I have not met her, but she comes through in her book so well, that she felt like a dear friend by the end. She even personally helped me when my daughter wanted a berlin-style cream of wheat.
And of course, your pot of apricots looks amazing.