Some random facts about both fresh and dried apricots in France; when they are in season and links to easy and healthy apricot recipes (mainly French). Did you know there's even a French baking expression, 'to apricot a tart'?
Summer. End June - mid/end August
Random French Apricot Facts
- Fragile Summer fruit grown in 3 main sunny regions in Southern France: the Rhône Valley (Bergeron apricots, pale and slightly tart), Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur;
- Although there are about 40 varieties, two are particularly popular for their deep orange and reddish blush and sweet, juicy characteristics: Bergarouge (large) and Orangered;
- Fragile to Grow: due to extreme rain conditions in 2021, apricot production was down by a staggering 80%, hence little at the market and increased prices. Thankfully with the more sunny climes in 2022, they are in abundance at summer markets around France;
- When choosing apricots, pick them quite ripe. Avoid them if slightly green, as apricots don't mature further once they're picked so if you have greenish looking apricots that you want to ripen in that fruit bowl, they won't budge!
- Store fresh apricots in a cool place and try to avoid keeping them in the fridge. Consume within the week;
- Health Benefits of Dried apricots - not just handy to keep as a pantry ingredient but they're high in magnesium. Have a flickering eyelid? French eye doctors have told me to eat a few dried apricots a day and the flicker disappears! No need for expensive Mg capsules from the Pharmacie.
French Expression with Apricot
"Abricoter une tarte" or to apricot a tart, means to brush some warmed apricot jam over the top of a tart or galette des rois to give it a delicious shine. Perfect for this Quick Apple Tart or French Apple Custard Tart.
What's the Best Way of Cooking Apricots?
My favourite, quick way to cook them is to roast them in the oven for just 20 minutes. This helps concentrate their flavour, which is the best if you have tasteless apricots. No need to peel them before baking.
See the recipes below. I also love making jam with them - and in a Clafoutis dessert, they're divine! Just follow the instructions for the strawberry version here.