Recipe Corner: For The Love of Apricots


SARATOGA — Here are two refreshing and cool recipes for Chocolate Apricot Ice Cream and Apricot Sorbet from Lisa Prince Newman’s indispensable cookbook, For the Love of Apricots: Recipes and Memories of the Santa Clara Valley. For true apricot lovers, this cookbook takes you on a sentimental journey with Lisa, an accomplished writer, home cook and city planner. Short essays throughout the cookbook evoke Santa Clara Valley’s 100-year orchard era, affectionately known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight, into the powerful and influential Silicon Valley, in one generation.

Through Newman’s recipes, which range from appetizers to main dishes to a variety of cookies and desserts, you can taste the passion she has for the versatility apricots offer. Her book contains recipes for apricot almond coins, Swiss apricot mousse, apricot-strawberry tart and the ever-popular apricot bars, not to mention apricot liqueur.

“I have loved apricots for as long as I can remember. They color my fondest memories of growing up in Saratoga,” says Lisa. Inspired by her memories of growing up in the Santa Clara Valley during the 1960s when fruit orchards spread out in every direction, this San Francisco Bay Area author focuses her passion for the freshest ingredients and pleasurable cooking on apricots. Once the top apricot producer in the world, California still produces apricots that have unparalleled flavor and a rich history.

Lisa tells the story of apricot farming history in the Santa Clara Valley while sharing her tested fruit-focused recipes. “The season for apricots is mainly from early May to August. Approximately 85 percent of the U.S. crop comes from California and 15 percent from Washington — so you can consider them a West Coast treat. Fresh apricots are petite, round fruits that are pale yellow to bright orange in color, depending on the variety and how ripe they are when picked,” she says.

Apricots have even less sugar than berries. The USDA noted that one fresh apricot contains just over three grams of sugar. Apricots are a great choice when you’re looking to switch up your fruit routine, while still snacking on something tasty and healthy. Apricots aren’t simply for snacking on or including in desserts. You can easily include them in sweet and savory recipes in lots of different ways. What’s more, if you can’t source fresh apricots you can use them dried, canned, and frozen. Apricot jam and preserves are perfect for sauces, glazes, and drinks, too.

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“Dried apricots are one of the healthiest and most beneficial of fruits,” she says. “Apricots help improve not only anemia but also digestion through their high fiber content. Vision and skin problems are enhanced with their large concentration of vitamins A and C. The antioxidants in California apricots can also reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke.”

The world is definitely a much sweeter place with these cool dessert recipes from Lisa Prince Newman – both are creamy with the perfect burst of fresh apricot goodness that everyone will love.

Chocolate Apricot Ice Cream

Makes 3 cups.


1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

5 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

2/3 cup sugar

2 cups fresh (or frozen) ripe apricots, pitted and chopped


Combine cream, cocoa powder and sugar in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, whisking until mixture comes to full rolling boil and starts to foam. Remove from heat and stir in apricots. Cover and let stand 10 minutes to cool. Puree mixture in food processor or blender, working in batches if necessary (Lisa uses an immersion blender).

Refrigerate puree, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your ice cream maker.

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Apricot Sorbet

Makes 3 cups.

Apricots are in season. This sorbet is like biting into a frozen apricot, so refreshing and sweet.


1 pound (about 8) fresh, ripe (or frozen) apricots, halved and pitted

3/4 cup water, divided

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice or Kirsch


Place apricots in a medium saucepan with 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is tender and soft.

Working carefully with the hot mixture, puree the fruit in a blender or food processor. Strain the apricot mixture through a sieve to remove solids. There should be about 1 1/2 cups of puree.

Return puree to the saucepan and add 1/2 cup water and the sugar to the mixture, stirring over low heat, until the sugar dissolves. Taste puree and, if desired, add lemon juice, Kirsch, or both.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your ice cream maker.

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For the Love of Apricots: Recipes and Memories of the Santa Clara Valley is a cookbook that will satisfy your love of apricots through more than 60 kitchen-tested recipes beginning with breakfast and ending with cocktails. For the Love of Apricots is also a feast for the eyes as well as the mind. Beautiful food photography blends with images of California’s apricot orchards; from today as well as not so long ago, when fruit orchards covered much of the Santa Clara Valley landscape. Reflections on what the famed Valley of Heart’s Delight was like, how it changed, and what remains, add another dimension to the cookbook.

For the Love of Apricots: Recipes and Memories of the Santa Clara Valley is published by Prince of the Orchards Publications.
2020 Food Photography Copyright © 2018, 2020 by Jessica Yager Photography Orchard Photography Copyright © 2018, 2020 by Eric Larson.

See Lisa’s YouTube video about For The Love of Apricots, Valley of Heart’s Delight & Silicon Valley at:

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© 2016 – 2022 Prince of the Orchards Publication

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