Do apricots ripen after picking?
Yes, apricots will continue to ripen even after being picked. Keep those unripe apricots at room temperature away from heat and sunlight until they feel soft to the touch and give off a sweet smell. To prevent spoilage, apricots should be refrigerated once they are ripe. However, cold temperatures can affect their texture and taste.
Apricots usually ripen in 21 days. This means that you should watch your apricot tree and only pick the ripe fruit. The harvest season for apricots is June to August, depending on the variety and location.
How do you know if apricots are ripe?
Ripe apricots are firm and plump with a touch of softness. They are not ripe if they are hard. If they feel squishy they have gone too far. Ripe Apricots have a floral scent that is distinctive and pleasant.
Unripe apricots are very firm and need ripening before consumption. If you want to use unripe apricots, you can make jams and chutneys with green apricots. Whole Green apricots can be pickled with Indian and Middle East savory spices. They have similar flavors to olives.
How to ripen apricots fast?
To ripen apricots fast, put them in a paper bag, wrap the ends and leave it at the counter. This way the ethylene gas produced while ripening is trapped in the bag and fastens the process.
But never use a plastic bag, because plastic bags trap moisture and cause mold growth when left at room temperature.
If you want your apricots to ripen even quicker put an apple, a banana, or some uncooked rice in the bag along with the apricot. These produce more ethylene gas, and more ethylene gas in the bag helps faster ripening.
And ripe apricots must be refrigerated. Let’s see how to store apricots…
How to store apricots?
As mentioned above, unripe apricots should be kept at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, until they are ripe. Once ripe, you can either leave the apricots on the counter for up to 2 days, or you can refrigerate them in plastic bags or in the crisper drawer for up to 5 days.
These are some of the things you should remember when storing apricots:
- Always wash fruits and vegetables before you use them. Dry them completely before storing them in the refrigerator or pantry to avoid any mold growth.
- Apricots require some protection from other foods. You can either place them in a bag or container that protects them from odors or simply keep them out of reach of other foods.
- Do not refrigerate apricots that aren’t ripe. They won’t develop their flavor fully and will end up tasting sour. They could be just fine by looks but they taste bland.
How long do apricots last?
Although apricots can be kept in the refrigerator, it is a good idea to refrigerate them as it greatly extends their shelf-life. Apricots can be kept at room temperature for 2 days. However, they will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
When kept at room temperature, pick a cool and dry spot. A basket, bag, or fruit bowl that is ventilated, or keeping the bag at least half open is a must to avoid trapped moisture and mold.
Keep ripe apricots out of reach of ethylene-producing vegetables and fruits.
For refrigeration, ripe apricots should be stored in high humidity. You can either place the apricots in the crisper drawer where it is naturally humid or seal them in a bag to trap moisture and slow down their loss.
Apricots cut in half will keep for 3 to 4 days if kept in an airtight container or freezer bag. However, if the fruit was softened from the start, it would only last for a day or so.
Storage time will vary depending on how ripe your apricots are.
How to tell if apricots are bad?
- Apricots are firm at first, but they soften with age. They become soft and squishy once they are overripe.
- You can throw out any apricots that have mold in their containers or bags.
- If the flesh of the apricot is brown. Internal degrading and browning are two forms. Toss an apricot if it is brown inside.
- There are worms in them. If you see any larvae or holes in the fruit, be sure to remove them before eating.
- Don’t eat them if they give off an unpleasant odor.
If you keep apricots too long, they can become softened and lose their quality. There are many things to be aware of. Apricots can become squishy, gross, and super-firm over time.
Even if the apricots you have aren’t quite firm enough to be used in a fruit salad, or for snacking, they can still be used in your cooking. There are many recipes that use apricots. These include apricot cake and various types of muffins, quick bread, etc. Even if you don’t have the best apricots, they should all turn out well.