The apricot, Prunus armeniaca , is a species of Prunus. Apricots are small, golden orange fruits, with velvety skin and flesh, not too juicy but smooth and sweet. They are enjoyed as a fresh fruit but also dried, cooked into pastry or as jam. Turkey, Italy, Russia, Spain, Greece, U.S.A. and France are the leading producers of apricots.
Apricots are rich in Vitamins A and C, tryptophan, fibre and potassium. Being high in Vitamin A and carotenoids, it is believed that eating three or more servings of these fruits a day might help prevent age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration. The fibre in apricot is useful in preventing constipation and other digestive problems, besides weight management. The high beta-carotene content of apricots makes them a heart-healthy food. Apricots also contain iron and copper, both of which may help in the formation of haemoglobin.
Now, for a recipe.
Fresh apricots: 500 gm
Sugar: 250 gm
Juice of 1 lemon
Method: Halve and stone the fruit. Put the fruit with the sugar into a preserving pan. Add lemon juice to the fruit and sugar; stir the mixture and leave it to steep for four hours.
When the sugar and apricots have softened, put the mixture over a low heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil for 20-25 minutes, until the mixture is thick. Allow it to stand for 20 minutes before bottling in a jar. Store it in the refrigerator.
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