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|Food Buzz: History of Apricots|
|Food Fable: Apricots|
Moorpark apricots are large fruits, reminiscent of peaches, measuring between 5 and 7 centimeters in diameter. They have bright, golden orange skins and when fully ripe may have a brownish-red blush or a spattering of red spots where the fruits faced the sun. The smooth skins are aromatic and thin. They have deep yellow to orange flesh with small central stones that don’t cling to the flesh. Moorpark apricots are juicy and offer a richly sweet, plum-like flavor.
Moorpark apricots are available in the late spring and early summer months.
Moorpark apricots, also written as Moor Park, are an heirloom cultivar of Prunus armeniaca. The Moorpark apricots are considered one of the best apricot varieties, both in England and in the United States. They were a favorite variety of Thomas Jefferson’s and were grown at his Monticello Estate. The city of Moorpark, California is said to be named after the Moorpark apricot trees growing throughout the valley.
Moorpark apricots are a good source of vitamins A and C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron and phosphorus.
Moorpark apricots are known for their juicy pulp, exceptional flavor, and pair well with other stone fruit including cherries, plums, and nectarines. They can be eaten raw, dried, pureed, roasted, grilled, baked or cooked into jams. Use them in fresh fruit salads, for savory salads and appetizers and desserts. Other complimentary pairings include arugula, dandelion greens, honey, egg custards, seafood such as scallops and prawns, lavender, lemon, orange, cardamom, pistachio, cayenne, pepitas, mascarpone, burrata, chevre, vanilla, white chocolate, yogurt, hazelnut and olive oil. Use Moorpark apricots in cakes, muffins and quick breads or puree them for ice cream and gelato. The puree can also be reduced to a sauce or used in vinaigrettes or dressings. Ripen Moorpark apricots at room temperature and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Moorpark apricots have long been a popular variety in England, having first been brought to the country from Italy in 1542 during the reign of Henry VIII. They were such a hit around the turn of the 19th century that they earned a mention in the 1814 Jane Austen’s classic novel, Mansfield Park.
Moorpark variety was first introduced in England in 1760 though some experts believe they had been grown in the country since the 16th century. They were named for the Moor Park estate in Hertfordshire where the trees first bore fruit and were first sold under the name in 1788. Apricots are native to the mountainous regions of north central and north western China. Trade routes, exploration and time spread the fruit from Asia into Europe and eventually the New World. Most New World apricots are of European origins. Today, Moorpark apricots are not cultivated for commercial sale and are generally grown by small farms and home growers. They are grown in the United States, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and throughout Europe where they may be spotted at farmer’s markets.
Recipes that include Moorpark Apricots. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Taste of Home||Homemade Dried Fruit|
|Salad in a Jar||White Chocolate, Apricot and Walnut Scones|
|myhealthybalance.com.au||Apricot Custard Flan|
|Style Me Pretty||Apricot Whiskey Smash|