In the springtime, apricots are among the first to blossom. Often, frosts reduce their yield, but much of the fruit ripens. Ripe apricots give their taste a real pleasure. They are fragrant, juicy and sweet. And the fruits are filled with vitamins and trace elements that increase hemoglobin levels, brain activity, improve memory and increase body resistance to various ailments.
In the apricot season, it is advisable not only to use them fresh, but also to make a small supply for later.
How to store apricots to ripen
Slightly unripe apricots can be brought to the desired state by:
- Prepare a paper bag.
- Put apricots in it and cover slightly.
- Leave the fruit bag in a room with a temperature of up to 20 degrees. They ripen at 15 degrees. A prerequisite - the sun's rays should not fall on the package with apricots.
Fruits become soft and ripe after 2-3 days. They can be stored outside the refrigerator for up to five days and up to a week - inside it. The fruit tray is an ideal place for apricots. Fruits should be folded in an airtight container, and not just poured into a container.
Before putting the apricots in the fridge, make sure that they are ripe, because at low temperatures the fruit does not ripen.
Bookmark apricots for long-term storage
I want to keep a big harvest a little longer. For this, the following methods are selected:
A small part of the fruit can be left fresh. The most favorable conditions for their storage:
- temperature not higher than 5 degrees;
- air humidity - 90-95%.
This microclimate distinguishes basements and cellars. To preserve apricots longer, do the following:
- We sort out the fruits and leave those fruits that have a hard surface and even small damages are absent. They may be slightly immature.
- Each fruit is wrapped in parchment paper and laid out in prepared wooden boxes.
- If there is a container with cells, then you can do without paper. The main thing is that the fruits do not come into contact with one another.
Apricots will remain in a room with a suitable microclimate for up to a month. This period depends on the varieties of fruit. Some of them are able to lie a half times longer.
If apricots are stored incorrectly, they lose moisture very quickly, becoming less juicy. When lying too long, fruits lose their taste, become loose and dry.
Drying is a good way to keep apricots longer. If you do not remove the bone, you get apricot, without bone - dried apricots.
Before drying, apricots should be washed in warm water.
To prepare dried apricots - divide the fruit in half and remove the bone. Fruits are better to use large, with dense pulp and not very juicy. When dried, their weight will decrease every five or six. So that in the process of drying apricots are not dark, they are:
- put in water with a small amount of lemon juice (a teaspoon per liter of water);
- fumigate with sulfur.
Drying in the oven has its own characteristics:
- It is necessary to prepare a piece of cotton cloth and lay it on the grate.
- Apricots spread out in one layer.
- Preheat oven to 50 degrees and gradually increase the temperature to 65-70.
- Apricots should be periodically mixed so that they dry out evenly.
- After an hour or two, the fruit should be transferred to a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
It takes about 10 to 12 hours for apricots in the oven to reach the desired state. From the already prepared fruit, the juice does not stand out when pressed, they become elastic.
If it is possible to dry apricots outdoors, you need:
- Leave the fruit for a few hours (2-3) in the shade in the draft.
- Spread out on a flat surface (board, grate) upwards by cuts, leaving small distances between pieces: this is necessary so that the fruits do not stick together.
- Carry out in the sun and dry for a week.
When the slices are slightly tightened and become smaller, they can be laid more tightly. In the evening, the workpiece is removed under the roof.
Fruits can also be strung on a thick thread and hang in the penumbra. In this state, apricots take several weeks to turn into dried apricots.
Dried apricots are stored in the refrigerator. They are packed in paper bags or sealed containers. Fruits are stored up to six months. At room temperature, apricots darken, harden and lose their taste and beneficial qualities. In a closed bag, they are stored no more than a month.
There are fewer nutrients in dried apricots than in fresh ones, but more than in conservation.
Freezing and canning
Freezing is a less popular way to store apricots for a long time. Cold destroys their structure and significantly reduces their beneficial properties.
Fruits freeze whole and halved. Standard technology:
- Fruits wash.
- If it is preferable to keep seedless apricots, remove them.
- Spread the fruit on a flat surface and leave it in the freezer for several hours.
- Place apricots in separate bags so that the amount of fruit can be used at one time.
- Send the fruit to the freezer.
In this condition, apricots are secured until the next harvest.
From overripe fruit is better to prepare jam or jam. Canned for up to five years.
The apricots fragrant and filled with sweet juice please with the saturated taste.
Who wants to extend the pleasure a little longer, can take advantage of the methods of storing them.