Albicocche al Marsala Posted by Serena on May 24, 2011 in Uncategorized
Going to the greengrocer at this time of year is a feast for the eyes and dolori per il portafoglio (pains for the wallet). Summer fruits such as fragole (strawberries), ciliege (cherries), albicocche (apricots), nespole (medlars), pesche (peaches) and meloni (melons), are just coming into season, but they are still very expensive.
Last week I was queuing at Renzo’s, my favorite fruttivendolo (greengrocer) here in Pontremoli, when a customer came in with her daughter, who must have been about seven or eight.
“Mamma, guarda, le ciliege!” (“Mum, look, cherries!”) exclaimed the daughter.
“Non toccare!” (“Don’t touch!”) said her mother.
“Le albicocche! Le compriamo?” (“Apricots! Shall we buy them?”) continued the daughter.
“Se Renzo ci fa un buon prezzo.” (“If Renzo gives us a good price.”) replied her mother.
“Ma io le posso comprare! Guarda, costano 6,50 Euro, e io ho 30 Euro a casa!” (“but I can buy them! Look, they cost 6.50 Euros and I have 30 Euros at home!”) was the little girls answer.
Yes, I must admit the apricots were very tempting. If you are lucky enough to have more apricots than you can eat, here is a tasty recipe for preserving them:
Albicocche al Marsala (Apricots with Marsala)
tre chili di albicocche non troppo mature (three kilos of not too ripe apricots)
sei etti di zucchero (six hundred grams of sugar)
quattro etti di acqua (four hundred grams of water)
mezzo litro di Marsala secco (half a liter of dry Marsala, Port, or Sherry)
un limone (one lemon)
due chiodi di garofano (two cloves)
un pizzico di cannella in polvere (a pinch of ground cinnamon)
Firstly make a syrup by dissolving the sugar in boiling water. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the Marsala, a few pieces of the yellow outer rind of the lemon, the lemon juice, cinnamon, and cloves. Leave it cool.
Quickly rinse the apricots in cold water, and leave them to dry. Cut them in half with a sharp knife, remove the stones and place them in preserving jars. Pour the Marsala syrup over the apricots in the jars, until they are approximately three quarters full. Seal the jars and sterilize them by boiling them for ten minutes. Store in a cool dry place.
Try and resist for at least ten days before opening a jar or, better still, wait until the middle of winter when you are feeling nostalgic for the warm sunny days of summer.
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