Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Apricot season

The apricots I've bought this year seem to be particularly good.  But nice as they are eaten fresh, the full flavour comes out best when they're cooked.
So far I've used them in two different recipes. One is Apricot Suédoise, a superbly simple dessert that tastes purely of apricot. You can see how to make it here.

The other is even simpler - roasted whole apricots. Here's the recipe.

Small apricots roasted whole

12 small rosy apricots
200 g runny honey
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Juice of ½ or 1 smallish lemon
100 ml water
1 tsp cinnamon
whipped cream and/or yoghurt, to serve

Preheat the oven to 170ºC fan forced (180C without fan).

Place the honey, sugar, lemon, water and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Cook on a medium heat, stirring, until it comes to a boil. Turn down to a simmer for 3 minutes and remove from the heat.

Place apricots into a small ceramic or glass baking dish. You want them to be sitting neatly together without too much extra space around them.

Using a sieve (to filter out the cinnamon), pour over the honey liquid.
Gently turn the apricots over in the liquid to coat them.

Put in the oven and roast for 10 minutes, then take out the dish and spoon the liquid over them again.
Put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes approximately. Remove them when they are cooked through, but not collapsing - you want them to stay whole.

Carefully take out apricots one by one with a spoon and transfer to serving dish or small individual dishes. (I made small dessert servings by putting three apricots in each of four pink glass Arcoroc teacups, with a dessert biscuit in each saucer.) 

Pour liquid back into small saucepan and gently reduce to form a syrup. Pour syrup over fruit and leave to cool. 

Serve with either whipped cream, or yoghurt, or a mixture of both (this is very nice). If you want to, you can flavour the cream with a dash of orange liqueur. Remember to warn your diners that there's a stone in each one.

I forgot to take a picture! Sorry. Here's one of the cups I used, only with an incredibly easy to make chocolate cream in it. You'll have to imagine it with apricots. Come to think of it, apricots and chocolate have a marvellous affinity, so you could try a shallow layer of this chocolate cream with apricots on top...

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