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.