The apricots I bought were a bit soft, and some were really soft. So, there was still a need to move quickly. First, I made five pints of apricot jam with the softest ones. A saucy jam with lemon, vanilla and almond brandy, it will do nicely on yogurt. I removed the stones from four quarts of apricots, and in the freezer they went. I planned on doing some apricot butter with some of the other really soft ones, but first I made apricot nectar. Apricot nectar can do lots of things, besides being simply delicious, and what is left over is half-way to butter!
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking (although The Joy of Jams, Jellies, etc. by Linda Ziedrich also has a good apricot nectar recipe)
3 quarts of apricots, pits removed
3 cups of water
Add all to heavy pot or dutch oven. Simmer gently until fruit is soft (or softer than it was to start). Strain, and instead of pushing the fruit, be patient and let it drain on it's own.
You can can this in pint jars, in a boiling water bath for fifteen minutes. Or, you can freeze it. Or you can stash the almost two quart yield in the fridge to make sorbet, jelly, salad dressing, or just to drink. All of which are on my mind.
You will be left with a good amount of pulp. I had a quart, to which I added another quart of fresh fruit and started a slow cooker apricot butter, a la Food in Jars' blueberry butter recipe. Let the apricot games begin!