Freezing fruit eliminates the need to pressure can it, as bacteria don't last long at low temperatures. But while freezing eliminates bacteria, it introduces the issue of quality control. You need sugar, a capable preservative in its own right, and acid to retain the taste, color and texture of frozen fruit. With their moderate sugar content, apricots freeze well with either pure sugar or a 40-percent sugar syrup. Peel, halve and pit the apricots before freezing them.
Pack the apricots in syrup if you don't plan to cook them later. Mix 2 3/4 cups of sugar with 4 cups of hot water, and stir in 3/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid or 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Chill the syrup in the refrigerator for one hour. Pack the apricots in a jar to 1 inch from the top and cover them with syrup, maintaining the 1 inch of headspace. Seal the jars and store them in the freezer.
Pack the apricots in sugar if you might cook with them later. Place the apricots on a work surface and sprinkle them with 3/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid or 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice, as well as 1/2 cup of sugar, per pound. Mix the apricots with the sugar until it dissolves and pack them in the jar, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. Press the fruit down until they’re covered in their own juice, and set a wadded up piece of parchment or wax paper on top. Seal the jars and place them in the freezer.
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A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.
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