Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Apricot: The Armenian Plum

From its deep golden-orange color and velvety skin to its sweet nectar, the apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is the most cherished fruit of Armenia.

Its peak season is from early June to the end of July.

Not going to be in Armenia then? California apricots are available from May through July, and the Washington state variety is available from June through early August.

Apricots have health benefits even doctors can’t argue with. The apricot is loaded with beta-carotene, Vitamins A & C, lycopene, and fiber, meaning it‘s good for your eyes, heart, digestive system, and prostate.

Apricots are made into jellies, jams, marmalade, and compotes -- but nothing beats a fresh, ripe, slightly juicy apricot.

Here’s a recipe that makes a lovely appetizer, or satisfying dessert:

Stuffed Fresh Apricots
Yield: 24 pieces

Appetizer Version
Ingredients:
½ cup Mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, softened
½ cup unsalted pistachios, chopped
12 fresh, ripe apricots, halved and pitted

Directions:
1. Fill the cavity of each apricot with the cheese.
2. Sprinkle pistachios on top.

Dessert Version:
Ingredients:
To the ½ cup of cheese, blend in ½ tsp. vanilla extract, and 2 tsp. powdered sugar.
Then follow the same directions as the appetizer version.

1 comment:

  1. One of the things I miss most about Southern California is the apricot tree in the back yard. What a wonderful fruit. For a kid it had all the advantages: it was sweet, didn't drip juice down your chin, it was easy to get the pit out, you didn't have to peel the skin before you ate it and one tree provided an endless supply for the whole neighborhood.

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