“The fruit of our labor” is quite literal here at Grieb Ranch as we enjoy summer fruits plucked fresh from the Grieb orchard trees. With Summer just around the corner we are anticipating another season of deliciousness. The Anna apples are just coming ripe, the first of the apple crop.
The Aprium and Katy apricots have come and gone. The birds came in just as the apricots were barely ripe and knocked hundreds of apricots all over the ground. After all the working of watering, hoeing, tilling, etc. the birds were getting the best. What they knocked off we picked up and used for apricot syrup, apricot jam or fruit leather.
Grieb Ranch Apricot Syrup Recipe:
- Wash apricots (about 3 lbs), cut into quarters and throw away the pits. There is no need to peel the apricots, although you can if you wish.
- In a large Dutch oven, cook the apricots in a little water until they are soft, then puree using a blender or food processor.
- Measure the puree (I had 6 cups of puree) and then put it back in the Dutch oven. Add an equal amount of sugar and about 1/4 cup of lemon juice. The lemon juice keeps the apricots nice and bright but you can leave it out. The cooked syrup will be a darker brown color, but will still taste great!
- Stir the sugar/apricot mixture until the sugar melts, but first……TIP (this will save you much frustration and mess) take a stick of butter and just rub it along the inside lip of the Dutch oven. The butter fat will keep the syrup from boiling over. This is the voice of experience, apricot syrup all over the stove, floor, etc. is a sticky mess.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir often until it reaches 215 – 218 degrees (use a candy thermometer).
- Remove the mixture from heat, stir and skim off the foam if there is any. Pour into 1/2 or 1 pint jars (I used 3/4 pint jars here, but they aren’t always easy to find). Leave about 1/2 inch of headroom.
- Wipe the jar rims with a moistened paper towel and put on the two-piece lids.
- Bring water to a boil in a water bath canner, add the syrup jars (using the little basket that keeps the jars off the bottom of the canner), make sure that they are covered with 1-2 inches of water and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat somewhat (you still want it to be boiling though) and process for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars and set on a towel on the counter top to cool. There, you have made delicious syrup perfect for pancakes or biscuits all winter long.
Some additional tips: The 6 cups of puree made about 4 pints of syrup. You can also use this same basic recipe to make raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry or grape syrup. Don’t reduce the amount of sugar as the recipe won’t work. For lower sugar syrup look for an approved reduced sugar jam recipe (ask your local extension agent) and cook until it is just short of setting. Syrup is basically runny jam!