This time of year stone fruits like apricots come onto the market, or if you are lucky you have a tree with ripening fruits. I have made jam.
500 g sugar
1 tblspoon jamsetta (a combination of pectin and citric acid)
cook until mushy or the apricots are soft which takes about 20 minutes. Fill squeaky clean glasses, recycled ones are fine, fill up and close lids tightly. Once opened keep the jam in the fridge as there is not as much sugar in it.
The Apricot (Prunus armeniaca, "Armenian plum" in Latin, syn. Armeniaca vulgaris Lam."Tsiran" in Armenian) is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation, but most likely in northern and western China and Central Asia, possibly also Korea and Japan.
The Apricot was first cultivated in India in about 3000 BC. In Armenia it was known from ancient times, having been brought along the Silk Road; it has been cultivated there so long it is often thought to be native there. Its introduction to Greece is attributed to Alexander the Great, and the Roman General Lucullus (106-57 B.C.E.) also exported some trees, cherry, white heart cherry and apricot from Armenia to Europe. Subsequent sources were often much confused over the origin of the species. Loudon (1838) believed it had a wide native range including Armenia, Caucasus, the Himalaya, China and Japan. Nearly all sources presume that because it is named armeniaca, the tree must be native to or have originated in Armenia as the Romans knew it. For example, De Poerderlé asserts: "Cet arbre tire son nom de l'Arménie, province d'Asie, d'où il est originaire et d'où il fut porté en Europe ...." ("this tree takes its name from Armenia, province of Asia, where it is native, and whence it was brought to Europe ....") There is no scientific evidence to support such a view. Today the cultivars have spread to all parts of the globe with climates that support it.
Apricots have been cultivated in Persia since antiquity, and dried ones were an important commodity on Persian trade routes. Apricots remain an important fruit in modern-day Iran where they are known under the common name Zard-alu.
Egyptians usually dry apricot and sweeten it then use it to make a drink called "'amar al-dīn".
More recently, English settlers brought the apricot to the English colonies in the New World. Most of modern American production of apricots comes from the seedlings carried to the west coast by Spanish missionaries. Almost all U.S. production is in California, with some in Washington and Utah..
Many apricots are also cultivated in Australia, particularly South Australia where they are commonly grown in the region known as the Riverland and in a small town called Mypolonga in the Lower Murray region of the state. In states other than South Australia apricots are still grown, particularly in Tasmania and western Victoria and southwest New South Wales, but they are less common than in South Australia.
Main article: Apricot kernel
Seeds or kernels of the apricot grown in central Asia and around the Mediterranean are so sweet that they may be substituted for almonds. The Italian liqueur Amaretto and amaretti biscotti are flavoured with extract of apricot kernels rather than almonds. Oil pressed from these cultivars has been used as cooking oil.
Medicinal and non-food uses
Cyanogenic glycosides (found in most stone fruit seeds, bark, and leaves) are found in high concentration in apricot seeds. Laetrile, a purported alternative treatment for cancer, is extracted from apricot seeds. As early as the year 502, apricot seeds were used to treat tumors, and in the 17th century apricot oil was used in England against tumors and ulcers. In Europe, apricots were long considered an aphrodisiac, and were used in this context in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and as an inducer of childbirth, as depicted in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi.
Due to their high fiber to volume ratio, dried apricots are sometimes used to relieve constipation or induce diarrhea. Effects can be felt after eating as few as three.
Research shows that of any food, apricots possess the highest levels and widest variety of carotenoids]. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, reduce "bad cholesterol" levels, and protect against cancer]. In traditional Chinese medicine, apricots are considered helpful in regenerating body fluids, detoxifying, and quenching thirst
Some claim that the kernels also have healthy properties, including toning the respiratory system and alleviating a cough]. However, the tip of the apricot holds a concentrated amount of the chemical laetrile, which can be upsetting to the systemThe tips of the seeds should be removed and consumption should be limited to no more than five a day.
Thank you to Wikipedia for much of the information. If you want to know more about this wonderful fruit please click here