These downy stone fruits are a relative of the peach and nectarine family, but are smaller with a soft velvety orange skin.
At their best from May to August, although the season continues into September. Apricots are grown in warm climates and most come from sunny European countries.
Firm but not green fruit, plump with bright downy skin; they should just yield to gentle pressure. Avoid any that are bruised or very soft as they will be over-ripe.
Apricots can be eaten raw: just cut in half, following the natural dimple, and remove the stone. Alternatively, poach in a little water with a little sugar to sweeten. They’re delicious served with natural yogurt or crème fraiche, folded into cream as an apricot fool or served as a compote with scones. Apricots also make delicious jams and chutneys; try flavouring with 1 or 2 lavender flowers for a delicious fragrance. They also bake well in tarts and cakes, such as a delicious apricot and almond upside down cake. Store In the fridge for up to 1 week, or ripen in a brown paper bag at room temperature. Cooked fruit freezes well.