Apricots are a delectable summer fruit that tastes juicy, sweet, floral, and slightly acidic. They belong to the stone fruit category, which means that their juicy flesh surrounds a hard stone in the center.
They can be eaten raw, cooked, and baked into all kinds of delicious desserts.
Like peaches, they have yellow-orange skin with patches of red, often with a slightly fuzzy texture.
Most people know that the fleshy part of apricots can be eaten, but they’re not so sure about the skin.
So, can you eat apricot skin? Yes, you can eat apricot skin along with the fleshy part of the fruit and also use it in cooking. It not only tastes good but is also as nutritious as the fruit itself!
Read on to find out more about apricot skin, whether it is safe to eat, how to eat it, how to peel it if the need arises, and more:
Is It Safe To Eat Apricot Skin?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to eat apricot skin. The best way to enjoy an apricot is in its whole, unpeeled form as its skin is loaded with several vital nutrients.
However, the stone in the center of the fruit is inedible and must be discarded.
Like several other fruits such as apples, peaches, pears, grapes, plums, and cherries, apricots have edible peelings and can be enjoyed as is.
Since the skin is thin and the flesh is soft, oftentimes you may eat the entire thing without even realizing that you’re eating the fruit’s skin.
Apricots can have either slightly fuzzy skin or smooth, waxy skin. Both types are safe to eat and can be eaten without worry.
The only reason you may not want to eat it is that you don’t like the texture. Otherwise, it is perfectly fine to eat apricot skin along with the flesh.
Like the fruit itself, apricot skin is also a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants, all of which work to reduce inflammation and support a healthy immune system.
It is particularly rich in Vitamin A which is great for eyesight.
What Does Apricot Skin Taste Like?
Apricot skin has a sweet, tangy flavor with hints of almond. It can have a hint of acidity and be slightly bitter.
A perfect balance to the sweet and tart flavor of apricot flesh, the full fruit, skin and all, makes a delicious addition to sweet as well as savory dishes.
Fresh apricots can be enjoyed as a healthy snack and can also be used for making jams, preserves, sauces, salad dressings, chutneys, and cocktails.
They can also be roasted, grilled, broiled, and served with your choice of meat such as pork or poultry.
Apricots taste incredible in all forms – raw, cooked, and dried – and are a popular ingredient in baked items such as cakes, pastries, cookies, tarts, scones, bread, and other desserts.
How To Eat Apricot Skin?
Eating apricot skin is very straightforward. You can simply enjoy it with the fruit’s flesh and eat it as part of the whole fruit.
You can do this while enjoying the fruit raw or cooking it before use.
Since apricot skin comes into contact with dust and dirt, you must clean it thoroughly before eating it. Here are some easy steps for cleaning and cutting apricots along with their skin:
- Wash the apricots with cold water making sure to remove any dirt and impurities on the skin. You can gently rub the apricot skin with your fingers to clean it thoroughly.
- Pat them dry with a couple of paper towels.
- Use a paring knife or kitchen scissors to cut off any stems and blossom ends.
- Look for the natural indentation that runs across the side of the apricot and use a sharp paring knife to slice it.
- Stop slicing when you hit the apricot pit, slowly rotate the fruit while still pressing the knife against the pit, and gently twist the fruit open.
- Pluck out the pit and slice or dice the apricots, or enjoy them as is.
Note: if the apricot is very firm and you find it difficult to remove the pit from the halved fruit, you can simply put it pit-side-down on a cutting board and slice it in half lengthwise. Be sure to not cut through the pit. This should loosen up the pit and break up the apricot into two small wedges.
Should You Peel Apricots For Making Jam?
Apricots have thin, nutritious skin that is perfectly safe to eat and cook. It does not need to be removed when making jam unless you want to as a personal preference.
Apricot skin adds more texture to the jam and makes it more nutritious. In addition to that, apricot skin contains pectin which makes it easier for the jam to set.
Pectin is a starch found in a variety of fruit and vegetables such as apples, citrus fruit, and apricots. It naturally occurs in their cell walls and gives them structure.
When mixed with acid and sugar and cooked to a high temperature, it takes on a gel-like consistency and is what makes jams and jellies develop a semisolid texture when cooled.
Apricot skin is high in naturally-occurring pectin, which is why using it while making jam will not only add flavor to the jam but also give it the right texture.
Should You Peel Apricots Before Baking?
No rule states that you should or should not peel apricots before baking. It all comes down to your preference and the flavor and texture you’re going for.
As mentioned earlier, apricot skin is completely edible and can be used to provide a nice texture to whatever it is added to.
It also has a high water content to keep the fruit from drying out while baking.
If you wish, you can peel the apricots if you don’t prefer the skin’s flavor and texture. It’s up to you whether you want to use peeled apricots for baking or use the skin along with the fleshy part.
How To Peel Apricots?
While apricot skin is safe to eat and use for cooking, you may peel and discard it if you want a smooth texture or don’t particularly enjoy its flavor.
You can use vegetable peelers or sharp paring knives to peel apricots, but considering how the texture of ripe apricots is so soft and how they start to slip away when you begin to peel them, you need to use a simple blanching technique to make the process much easier.
Here are step-by-step instructions for peeling apricot skin:
- Fill a saucepan with water and place it on the stove. Make sure the water is enough to submerge the apricots.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Use a sharp knife to slice an “X” at the top and bottom of all the apricots.
- Make several piercings on the fruit making sure to not cut too deeply.
- Prepare a bowl on the side by filling it with cold water enough to cover the apricots.
- Add a few ice cubes to the water if needed.
- Turn off the stove when the water starts to boil.
- Put the apricots into the pan using a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon.
- Let the apricots sit in the hot water for a minute.
- In the meantime, you will start to see the peels coming off the fruit where you initially made the piercings.
- Transfer the blanched apricots into the ice bowl using tongs or a slotted spoon.
- Let the apricots sit in the cold water for 30 seconds.
- Take out one apricot at a time from the ice water and gently remove the skin using your fingers.
Note: if some of the peels are stubborn and aren’t coming off with your fingers, you can use a sharp knife to gently scrape them off.
Now that you know all about apricot skin and whether they are safe to eat, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have:
Is it safe to eat apricot kernels?
Apricot kernels are found inside the hard pit of the apricot in the center of the fruit and are toxic.
It is advised to not have more than 1 to 2 apricot kernels per day.
Similar in appearance to a small almond, they have Amygdalin in them which converts to cyanide in the body.
According to estimates, eating about 50 to 60 apricot kernels could be lethal, but cyanide poisoning can occur at much lower levels.
What do dried apricots taste like?
Dried apricots are pitted apricots cut in half, with most of the moisture removed from the fruit.
Like other dried fruit, dried apricots take on a more concentrated flavor and are sweeter and more intense. Available all year round, dried apricots are orange or sometimes take on a brown color.
They can be eaten as is, sliced, or rehydrated by putting them in water.