Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch with Carol Taylor – Healthy #Apricots and #recipes

This is the edited version of the Cook from Scratch series that Carol Taylor and I shared in 2017.. and I am sure you will enjoy the wonderful recipes that Carol has created to encourage you to include this small but nutrient packed fruit in your regular diet. You can find the new Food Therapy 2020 here: Food Therapy Apricots 2020

Here is Carol to share her recipes for this powerhouse of a fruit

Apricots, Fruit, Stone Fruit, Sweet



I call it the amazing Apricot as it virtually alongside the doctors saved my life…No kidding about 20 years ago I was very, very anaemic so much so that I was whisked into hospital at a moment’s notice and operated on…Amongst other factors my iron levels were practically nonexistent and apart from medical intervention I was advised to eat dried apricots…They have always been one of my favourite fruits so although I had little appetite I was happy to nibble on those little golden pieces of heaven.

It took a few weeks before I was even close to being human again but I do credit those little apricots with contributing to helping to increase my iron levels.

Anyway, enough about me and…..

Let’s Cook!

Apricots are a versatile little fruit which make a lovely jam and the recipe which I am going to start with as it is the basis for much more than just putting on your toast…

Apricot and Orange Blossom Jam.


  • 1 kg apricots stoned and halved….If the apricots are large then cut into quarters.
  • 750 gm preserving sugar
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp of Orange blossom water
  • A few knobs of butter (optional). The butter helps dissolve the scum on the top of the jam if there is any.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix the apricots and the sugar together, cover and leave to stand overnight. I have to stand mine in a tray of water otherwise the pesky ants get into the sugar they don’t like swimming the moat however.
  2. Put a saucer in the freezer.
  3. When ready to cook put the apricots into a preserving pan which is flatter, wider and better for cooking preserves, add the lemon juice and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Once the sugar had dissolved then bring the apricots to a rolling boil for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the saucer from the freezer and the pan from the heat and spoon a little jam on to the cold saucer, if the mixture wrinkles when it cools then the jam has reached its setting point.
  6. If it is too runny then return the pan to the heat and bring to a rolling boil for 2-3 minutes then add another spoonful of jam to the saucer, repeat until the jam reaches its setting point.
  7. Then skim the surface of the jam to remove any scum which has formed and stir in the orange blossom and the butter if using. The butter helps dissolve any remaining scum.
  8. Leave the jam to cool for 15 minutes before transferring to sterilised jars.
  9. This jam will keep in the fridge for about 6 weeks.

Apricots wrapped in bacon make a lovely accompaniment to roast turkey instead of sausages.

A lovely apricot glaze for your baked ham.


  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Apricot jam
  • 1 tsp of mustard powder.
  1. Mix the ingredients together then brush your ham before you bake it with the glaze and then brush with the remainder of the glaze about 20 minutes from the end of the cooking time.
  2. It makes a lovely ham taste even better.

Dipping sauce for coconut prawns or chicken.

  • ½ cup of apricot jam
  • 2 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp horseradish

Just combine the ingredients and you have a lovely dipping sauce.

Pork Loin is a wonderful thing stuffed with a beautiful homemade stuffing.

Ingredients for Apricot stuffing:

  • 2 tbsp of minced or finely chopped garlic
  • 16 whole cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp of minced fresh rosemary or snip with scissors
  • 16 dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • Oil to cook garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper to season

Let’s cook

  1. Cook the garlic cloves in oil until soft and lightly coloured, remove from the oil and retain the oil.
  2. Take your piece of pork loin and slit through the middle length wise so making a long pocket do not take it right to the end.
  3. With a brush coat the insides of the pocket with oil from the cooked garlic. Now the original recipe stated add everything in layers I found this humanely impossible so on my second attempt I mixed all the ingredients together using only 1 tbsp of the rosemary and stuffed the piece was about 1.5 kilos and I used the end of a plastic sauce bottle to push the stuffing to the end of the pork.
  4. Hubby then tied the pork loin together with kitchen string. I then brushed the outside with the remaining garlic oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper before roasting.


Apricot Dumplings

My mum used to make apple dumplings and they were really lovely and I have happy thoughts when I think of those ….These Apricot ones now take first place as they are awesome… A recipe given to me by my Swiss friend who calls them Wachauer Aprikosennodel and they truly are delicious.


  • 1 pound of cold cooked potatoes
  • 3 ¾ cups of all purpose flour
  • 3/8ths cup of butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 12 whole apricots
  • 12 lumps of sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups of bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup castor sugar
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Pinch of salt

Sauce ingredients:

  • 10 apricot halves
  • ¼ cup of apricot juice
  • ¼ cup of brandy

Let’s Cook!

  1. Grate the potatoes. Measure and sift flour. Measure the butter. Soak sugar lumps in brandy.
  2. Remove stone of whole apricots. Measure the breadcrumbs, sugar and brandy. Measure the ingredients for sauce. Mix flour with grated potato, add salt and egg yolk. Rub in butter and then turn dough out onto a floured board and knead.
  3. Press out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Place a lump of brandied sugar in each half apricot, cover with another apricot half. Cut dough into 4-inch squares. Place apricot in the centre and wrap dough around, squeezing edges of dough together.
  4. Trim off outside. Roll dumpling between palms of hands. Drop dumplings into a large saucepan of salted boiling water. Boil gently for 12 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Fry the bread crumbs with the sugar and 3 tablespoons fresh butter until crisp. Roll the dumplings in the bread crumbs and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place onto a heated serving dish.

To make the sauce:

  1. Place apricot halves with brandy and apricot juice into a blender and puree. Heat the sauce gently in a saucepan.
  2. Coat the dumplings with the apricot sauce. Serve the remaining sauce separately.


Lastly some little  macaroons…


  • 3 cups of sliced almonds
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ cup of apricot jam

Let’s Cook!

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a food processor grind almond, sugar and salt (I leave mine a little coarse) add egg whites and vanilla then pulse until the mixture forms a ball.
  3. With wet hands as the mix is very sticky shape a level tbsp of the mix into balls and then make an indent in the centre of each ball with a moist finger.
  4. Bake until crackly and light golden approx 15 – 20 mins depending on your oven.
  5. Cool for 5 mins and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. Warm the jam over a low heat and then put a tsp of jam in the centre of each cookie. Leave to cool.


As you can see in the hands of an expert, even the humble apricot acheives great things.. thank to Carol for all her efforts.

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

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