Growing up my parents had a variety of different fruit trees on their property. When I was really young, maybe three or four, they had a peach tree. The peach tree died or blew down decades ago. Since that time they have had various apple trees, apricot trees, and maybe a cherry tree (I’m not a huge fan of cherries unless they come on a cheesecake). I got to help my parents harvest and “put up” the fruits, along with their garden full of vegetables every year. Over time I have assisted in canning and freezing fruits and making butters out of the apples (yes!) and apricots (no!). This year my parents only fruit bearing tree is the apricot, and due to a very large wind storm much of the fruit ended up a rotten mess on the ground. What remained of the un-rotted windfalls and the un-fallen apricots on the tree I asked if I could have. My mother told me to ask my father and my father, somewhat hesitantly, said yes.
Daughter Number 4 was so darn happy to get to eat fresh apricots off of the tree. She liked the slightly fuzzy outside and the tart fruit inside. She was my assistant in washing, pitting, and chopping the apricots. She was a huge help in mixing all of the ingredients together for our Apricot Crumble. Oh, and she LOVED the end result. Especially when I put some whipped topping on it. Daughter Number 3 liked it. Not overwhelmingly, but she liked it. The Hubs had apparently never tried apricots and was under the impression, as many people are, that apricots and peaches are the same. Apricots are much more tart than peaches. The Hubs said that it needed about 1 cup more sugar, but other than that he liked it. I explained to him that apricots are tart by nature and all of the sugar in the world would not turn them into peaches. I did not have the full 8 cups of apricots called for in this recipe, so I halved the recipe and made it in an 8 X 8 instead of a 9 X 13. I think that I should have only used 3 cups of apricots instead of 4. It seemed very thick to me.
All in all I deem it a success for many reasons. The first one being that it gave my 2 youngest daughters the experience of collecting the fruit. Daughter Number 3 even climbed a ladder to pick some from the tree. That was quite an adventure for her. They also got to experience cooking and eating something that we harvested. I think that’s such an important part of learning about food and cooking. To see the process from beginning to end; the blossoms on the tree, to the fruit on the tree, to the pan, and then the plate.
Also, the next time someone offers The Hubs an apricot he’ll know what to expect.
I’m looking forward to next year when we can try out a new apricot recipe!