How to cook apricots
Apricots are great fresh, roasted, sauteed, added to baked goods, and dried. I prefer to use cooked apricots as a topping for morning oatmeal or pancakes.
How to buy apricots
Look for apricots that are free of blemishes and dark spots. Buy them when mostly ripe, which you’ll know by pressing lightly, and if the apricot gives a bit and feels soft, it is ripe. If unripe, leave on the counter or place in a brown paper bag until soft.
How to store apricots
For ripe apricots, store in the refrigerator. I’ve found there’s no need to place in a bag, just leave on top so they don’t bruise.
Varieties of apricots
Apricots are part of the stone fruit family along with cherries, peaches, and plums; fruits typically in season during a short stint in the summer. There are quite a few different apricot varieties that come into season at different times, which helps to extend the availability slightly.
Of all the fruits, I learned to love apricots in dried form before I tried them fresh. I enjoy their lightly sweet, yet tart flavor that pairs well with both sweet and savory ingredients (my favorites are honey, blue cheese, and walnuts).
When fresh apricots are not in season, I keep dried apricots in the cupboard. The dried version is perfect for adding to salads, making into chutney, and pairing with cheese and crackers.