A NOTE FROM EXECUTIVE CHEF BILL SCATENA “Fresh apricots have a short season, so you can make this recipe with California dried apricots, which are readily available. I like to use natural, unrefined palm sugar, which is not as sweet as cane sugar. If you can’t find palm sugar you can easily substitute granulated sugar and just use a bit less. This fruit pickle is quite versatile—use as a garnish for a cheese board or buzz in a blender for a puree that can be used in a cocktail or as the base for a sour apricot gelato.”
Pickled Apricots Recipe
Yields about 1 Cup
1 cup champagne vinegar or cider vinegar
¾ cup palm sugar, broken into small pieces (or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar)
1 cup jumbo dried apricots (or 2 fresh apricots, quartered and sliced)
1 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 pinch whole coriander
1 pinch whole black peppercorns
1 fresh bay leaf
Combine vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, add spices and bay leaf, and allow to steep for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, slice apricots into thin strips and add to a nonreactive bowl or mason jar. Return pickling liquid to a quick boil and immediately pour over the sliced apricots. Let sit at room temperature for about 1 to 2 hours, then cover and chill. These are best used after three days—allowing the sugars from the fruit to marry with the pickling liquid—and will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Photo by Andrea Hubbell