Canning and Preserving Herbs: Apricots with Anisette and Fennel

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<em>Makes 2 quarts<br />
<br />
The lushness of apricots combined with the fennel and anise-flavored liqueur creates an elegant winter dessert. Cinnamon basil and cinnamon liqueur make a spicy alternative. Serve the whole apricots in a footed dish, perhaps embellished with crème fraîche or mascarpone, a creamy dessert cheese, and plain butter or sugar cookies.</p>
<p>• 3 pounds fresh apricots<br />
• 2 1/2 cups water<br />
• 1/2 cup anisette<br />
• 2 cups sugar<br />
• 4 six-inch sprigs fresh green or bronze ­fennel</p>
<p>1. Prepare the jars, lids, and boiling-water bath.</p>
<p>2. Wash and dry the apricots, then prick each one several times with a toothpick or skewer. Combine the water, anisette, and sugar in a pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture boils and the sugar is dissolved. Add the apricots and simmer for 3 minutes. Fill each hot, dry jar with the fruit and two fennel sprigs, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Pour the hot liquid over the fruit until just covered. Wipe the rims with a clean towel and attach the lids securely. Place the jars in the boiling-water bath, and when the water returns to a boil, process for 25 minutes.</p>
<p>3. Remove the jars, cool, label, and store.</p>
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<em>Maggie Oster writes extensively about herbs, food, gardening, cooking, landscape design, flowers, and crafts. Her books include</em> Recipes from an American Herb Garden <em>(New York: Macmillan, 1993) and</em> Herbal Vinegar <em>(Pownal, Vermont: Storey Communications, 1994). When she’s not on the road, she’s in her garden or kitchen in Indiana or Kentucky.</em>
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<strong>Canning and Preserving Herbs: 13 Recipes</strong>

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