B&R Farms, which has been operating in Hollister for 88 years and specializes in a range of apricot products, is a third-generation, family-operated business that Jim and Mari Rossi live and breathe every day.
Mari shares a few family recipe ideas for Easter:
"As a family we love to celebrate," she said. "Our family gatherings and holidays are done at our house. With everyone being so busy, family time is a time to catch up, relax, help out in the kitchen, try new recipes or make favorites based on the time of the year and just be with the ones that we love. Jim and I are very fortunate that our sons and their families all live close by so that makes it easy."
The Blenheim Apricot grown on the farm is considered by many to be the most flavorful variety of dried apricots, carefully selected for optimum tenderness and flavor. Each apricot is harvested and packed by hand. Rossi says the business has grown from selling out of a trunk of a car to now being shipped nationwide as well as an online business and retail store here in Hollister.
DRIED APRICOTS STUFFED WITH CREAM CHEESE APPETIZER
- 20 dried Blenheim Apricots
- 2 packs Pancetta
- 200 g cream cheese
- Handful of thyme
Open the apricots and stuff each one with a teaspoon of cream cheese. Add a sprig of thyme, then wrap in a slice of Pancetta. Gently sauté in a shallow pan until the Pancetta is crispy. Serve warm. (They will keep in the warming oven for a little while.)
B&R's BAKED APRICOT HAM
- 1 bone-in smoked ham (8 ½ pounds)
- 20 oz sliced pineapple in juice
- 1 cup B&R Farms Apricot Topping
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- whole cloves and maraschino cherries
Preheat oven to 325F. Remove rind from ham. Place ham on rack in open roasting pan, fat side up. Insert meat thermometer with bulb in thickest part away from fat or bone. Roast ham in oven about three hours.
Drain pineapple; reserve syrup. In small saucepan, combine juice, apricot preserves, mustard and allspice. Bring to boil; stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove ham from oven, but keep oven hot. Stud ham with cloves; brush with glaze. Using wooden picks, secure pineapple and cherries to ham. Brush again with glaze. Return ham to oven and roast 30 minutes longer or until thermometer registers 160F (about 25 minutes per pound total cooking time). Brush with apricot/pineapple glaze 15 minutes before done. Let ham stand 20 minutes before slicing. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
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