Now is the time to seek out these delicate sweet-tart fruits, which are so much more than peach wannabes. Beneath the velvety skin of the perfect apricot is flesh that somehow manages to be dense and fragile at the same time. Baking or simmering melts the fruit, intensifying the flavor. Grilling produces a lovely caramelized result, while the skin holds the fruit's shape.
The gold standard apricot is the small, puckery-sweet, perfumed Blenheim. Or look for the new kid on the block, the Candy Cot, which is almost sugary by comparison. Stewed, this fruit is gorgeous over ice cream or a light cake. Fresh slices can be served alongside beef, poultry, pork, or shellfish. And pureed peeled apricots make for one delicious Bellini.