One sure sign of summer is an abundance of fresh apricots, a golden fruit that's rich and juicy. The apricot's growing season is short, so good cooks everywhere ready their recipes and capitalize on each day of it, finding ideas that let fresh--and cooked--apricots star.
A member of the rose family--as are other stone fruits such as plums, peaches and cherries--apricots were first mentioned in Chinese writings that date to 2000 BC and were introduced to Southern California in the 1700s by the mission padres.
Modern cooks have devised a number of contemporary uses for this delicious fruit; Carol Peterson's Apricot Cheese Custard Pie is a fine example of how apricots are used today.
CAROL PETERSON'S APRICOT CHEESE CUSTARD PIE 2 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon salt cup shortening 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 5 eggs 1 1/2 cups milk 10 to 12 ripe apricots, halved and seeded 1/2 cup apricot preserves 1 tablespoon Cointreau, Triple Sec or orange juice