Height of season for Valais apricots, considered best in Switzerland
It is the height of the Valais apricot season, I thought it timely to offer you a few ideas for using them while they’re ripe and ready.
Choosing your apricots
The first and most important thing is to buy tree-ripened apricots. By definition, this means local ones, since ripe apricots are soft to the touch and do not travel well.
If you plan to eat them fresh, they should be soft, but not blemished or bruised. The riper they are, the more flavorful they are.
If you are using them for cooking, the riper the better, and you can even get by with blemishes as long as they are not rotten-looking. As a general rule, the softer the sweeter.
You will often see crates of extra-ripe apricots discounted in farmers markets. Look them over, and if there are not too many black or rotting ones, they are actually the best for cooking purposes, especially for jams, cakes and sauces.
Recipe ideas for apricots
Note: With all apricot recipes, the amount of sugar used depends on the acidity of the apricots. The acidity depends on the ripeness, origin and variety. With so many factors coming into play, taste tests are indispensable and the quantity of sugar should be determined by taste, using the quantities given here as a guideline.