Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spicy Pickled Apricots

I have now found my most favorite thing ever, ever, ever.  I can't believe how much I love spicy pickled apricots.  They are delicious.  It is apricot season so I took some apricots home after volunteering at the market this week.  I started off with an apricot chutney.  It was pretty good but I wanted the apricots to have more texture so I thought to myself, "What would pickling do?"

Let me tell you it does beautiful things.  I looked up a bunch of pickling recipes and nothing quite floated my boat.  Then I realized, the recipes lacked spice.  If you read my blog at all then you probably know that I like spice.  Once I realized this I was set to start the pickling process.

Ingredients (I spice my blends for me, you should spice blends for you.  Have fun with it!)

  • 6 large apricots
  • 2 cups pickling vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tsp red peppercorn
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp red chili flakes

1) Pour the vinegar and sugar and spices into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and let it brew away for ten minutes or so.
    2) As the vinegar simmers, halve the apricots and then halve the halves.  You want apricot quarters.  I didn't blanch them and remove the peel because this just feels wrong to me.  I would be the first to admit that I have a slight fibre/nutritional value obsession so I never remove edible peel from anything.  I always eat it and so the apricots are keeping their skin.

    3) For my first batch of spicy pickled apricots I cooked the apricots in the vinegar mix for a while (5 minutes or so).  For the second batch I just poured the hot vinegar mixture over the raw apricots in clean glass jars.

    4) Now they need to sit.  The recipe said to leave them alone for at least for 12 to 24 hours and I managed 12 hours before testing.  So good.  My favorite part about this pickle is the whole coriander seeds.  As I ate the pickle a coriander seed would crunch between my teeth and the flavour would just explode.  Almost on the edge of perfume but not.  Delicious.  You can eat the pickle:
    • On anything that you would use pickle or chutney on.
    • With a beautiful hard cheese or goat cheese.
    • On top of a creamy or rich soup.  I ate it on chili and it was so good...
    • Inside a grilled cheese sandwich (slice the apricots up before sliding between the bread slices).
    • On ice cream.  Sounds kinda weird but I think it could be quite yummy, maybe on vanilla or chocolate or even caramel.
    • People who like to can will probably notice that I didn't can my pickle.  I am storing them in the fridge so I didn't worry about canning.  As well, I don't want to cook my apricots and canning would cook them.  Refrigerator pickles they are.  If you want to try canning I recommend using hard apricots so they don't get uber soft. 
     Have you ever tried pickled apricots?  Do you love them or are you a cuke pickle purist?  Let me know if they become your new favorite thing ever.

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    1. These sound great. I can't quite imagine what they taste like, would love to try them.

      1. Thanks for the comment! They do have an interesting taste, almost like a chutney but minus the garlicy notes so sweet and spicy, but very fresh.

      2. Can't wait to try this. Recently made amazing pickled cherries with cloves and black peppercorns. Saw them on a Michelin starred restaurant menu with chocolate ice cream. Wow!

    2. not what I was looking for but thanks, its given me another idea. I have a mango tree, never know what to do with all the mango. so will give it a go. thanks very much