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Home Ec Project: Preserving Apricots

After completing the “Canning Safety” home ec project you are probably ready for something more challenging. In this project you will learn, more specifically, how to preserve apricots by canning, freezing, and drying.

Apricots – Canned

Tree-ripened apricots may be canned whole. Pits should be removed from fruit harvested before it was full ripe. Some varieties of apricots should be packed raw because they do not hold their shape when heated before packing.
RAW PACK: Make medium or light syrup. Wash, drain and cut fruit inot halves. Pit. Treat to prevent darkening. Drain. Pack into hot jars, leaving half inch headspace. Cover with boiling syrup, leaving half inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps. Process pints 25 minutes, quarts 30 minutes in boiling water bath.
HOT PACK: Make medium or heavy syrup. Wash and scald apricots. Remove skins. Cut into halves and pit. Treat to prevent darkening. Drain. Cook a few apricots at a time in syrup until hot through. Pack hot into hot jars, leaivng half inch head space. Cover with boiling syrup, leavintg half inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps. Process pints 20 minutes, quarts 20 minutes in boiling water bath.

Apricot - Orange Conserve

Ingredients:
3½ c. peeled, pitted and chopped apricots (about 12 medium)
1½ c. orange juice
2 T. fine orange peel
2 T. lemon juice
3½ c. Sugar
½ c. chopped nuts

Combine all ingredients, except nuts, in a large sauce pot. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add nuts last five minutes of cooking; stir well. Remove from heat. Skim foam and stir alternately for five minutes. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving quarter inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about 6 half-pints.

Apricots – Dried

Because apricots are especially high in vitamin A, careful pretreatment and drying are important so vitamin loss will be minimal. Apricots should be picked at their peak ripeness to have the best flavor when dried. They should be plump, well-formed and fairly firm with a deep yellow or yellow-orange color. If they are yellow-green, they are not fully ripe. Although unripened apricots will soften and change color during storage, their flavor will not be as pronounced and they will tend to be tough and more shriveled. Apricots should be washed, halved, pits removed and held in a solution of one teaspoon ascorbic acid per quart of water. Dry at 170F for two to three hours, then at 130F until dry.

Dried Candied Apricots

Wash fruit and cut into thin strips. Simmer in medium syrup (2 c. water and 2 c. sugar) for two hours, or until fruit is clear and tender. Drain. Place on drying tray. Dry until pliable. Cool and store in air tight container.

Apricot Leather

Ingredients:
1¼ c. apricot puree
1 T. fresh lemon juice
honey to taste

Mix puree and lemon juice until well blended. Add honey to taste. Prepare one leather tray. Spread on into tray. Dehydrate 8 to 10 hours, or until leather pulls away from liner. Yield: 1 leather.

Apricot Leather Chips

Dry fruit leather until brittle. These can be eaten as a snack, chopped to make toppings on cereals and puddings or reconstituted to flavor yogurt, ice cream, milk shakes, and baby cereal. Store dried chips in airtight glass or plastic contaners.

Apricot Butter

Ingredients:
3 lbs. apricots, pitted
¼ c. lemon juice
3 c. sugar


Puree apricots; you should have about four cups. Pour into 8 quart pan. Stir in lemon juice and sugar until well blended. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Continue to boil, uncovered, stirring often, until thickened (15 to 18 minutes); as mixture thickens, reduce heat and stir more often to prevent sticking. Ladle hot into prepared half-pint jars. Process for five minutes in boiling water bath.

Apricot Preserves

Ingredients:
5 c. peeled, pitted, hard, ripe apricots (abt 2 pounds)
4 c. Sugar
¼ c. lemon juice

Thoroughly mix fruit with sugar and lemon juice. Cover tightly; let stand four to five hours in a cool place. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until fruit is clear, about 30 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving quarter inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about four half-pints.

Apricot Jam

Ingredients:
2 qts. crushed, peeled apricots
6 c. sugar
¼ c. lemon juice


Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick, about 25 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving quarter inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about 5 pints.

Apricot Ice Cream

Ingredients:
2 c. fresh apricots
1½ c. sugar
1 pint half-and-half

Pit the apricots and cut them into small pieces. Then cook them with the sugar for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Stir to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and stir in half-and-half. Cool, chill, crank and freeze. Yield: one quart.

Fruit Sherbet

Ingredients:
1 env. unflavored gelatin
½ to ¾ c. sugar
dash salt
½ c. water
2 c. fresh fruit puree
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
3 egg whites
¼ c. sugar

In large saucepan combine gelatin, ½ to ¾ cup sugar (to taste), and salt. Stir in water; heat and stir til gelatin dissolves. Stir in desired fruit puree and evaporated milk. Turn into a 9x9x2" pan, cover and freeze until firm. In small mixer bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gredaully add ¼ cup sugar, beating till stiff peaks form. Break frozen mixture into chucks; turn into chilled large mixer bowl. Beat until fluffy. Fold in egg whites. Return to pan; cover and freeze until firm. Makes about 1½ quarts.

Golden Apricot Filling

Ingredients:
½ c. water
¾ c. sugar
1 c. orange juice
1 t. lemon juice
1½ c. dried apricots, chopped

In a small saucepan, combine water orange juice. Add apricots. Cook over medium heat until thickened, 20 - 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thickened. Makes 1¾ cup filling.

APRICOT AND WALNUT CHUTNEY

Ingredients:
3 pound Apricots -- -OR- 1 pound Dried apricots
1 pound Onions; peeled -- chopped fine
1 1/2 pint Cider vinegar
2 Garlic cloves -- peeled -- crushed
2 Oranges (rind only)
1 pound Light brown sugar
8 ounce Sultanas
2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Powdered allspice
8 ounce Walnuts -- very roughly chopped

Split and stone the fresh apricots and chop roughly. If using dried apricots, put them to swell overnight in water. Boil the chopped onions for a few moments to soften them, otherwise you always seem to get a few hard bits. Drain. Put all the ingredients except the walnuts into a large preserving pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and cook gently, stirring regularly, for 1 1/2 hours until the mixture is thick and jammy. Stir in the walnuts. Pot while hot in warm sterilized jars. Seal. Makes about 6 lbs.

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