In the last several years, designer crosses between plums and apricots have been progressively more popular. Later in the summer we will see the varieties variously called plumcots and pluots, which are closer to plums. Right now we're getting apriums, which more closely resemble apricots.
Flavor Delight, introduced in 1989, is the granddaddy of the bunch and is quite good. Flavor Anne and Honey Rich are good too. These new fruits are especially valuable because the commercial varieties of apricots -- primarily Patterson and Castlebrite -- lack distinction. If you find freckled little Blenheim or Royal apricots (they're pretty much the same variety), snap them up and remember what an apricot should taste like.
How to choose: Select these as you would a plum or an apricot: Look for firm fruit that gives slightly under light pressure. The peels should be smooth and unblemished, and the color should be deep and vibrant.
How to store: Refrigerate in a tightly sealed plastic bag. They'll last at least a week.
How to prepare: Apriums can be substituted for apricots in recipes and are especially terrific in crisps. Split them in half and remove the pits. Toss the fruit with some sugar and a tablespoon or two of flour and set aside to macerate. Pulse together in the food processor 1 cup of flour, one-half cup of butter and one-half cup of sugar until it is pebbly. Empty the fruit into a baking dish and scatter the flour mixture over the top. Bake at 400 degrees until the top is brown and crisp and the fruit is bubbling and thick, about 45 minutes.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times