Tuesday, February 24, 2009

roasted apricots w apricot fool

I used to adore stone fruit as a kid. We lived on the northern outskirts of Sydney and many Greek and Italian migrants had set up orchards of peaches, apricots, plum and nectarines. You could buy them from the side of the road in big boxes and eat them fresh.

These days I find it very hard to get good stone fruit. They never have that strong ripe smell and the flesh is often floury rather than tender and juicy. One way to combat the sad side effects of mass food production is to cook stone fruits. I find this brings out the flavour and intensifies the sugars. Roasting, poaching, and grilling can make a difference to a bad batch.

I also like to make apricot or peach pies. My grocer sometimes sells bags of overripe fruit for just this purpose and Jonas is always happy when I bake shortcrust pastry filled with steaming fresh fruit.

In this particular recipe, I roasted the fruits then cooled them to room temperature before serving. The addition of lemon juice and zest to this mix makes for a slight sour citric edge so if you want sweet apricots, omit the juice. I think I will next time.

Roasted Apricots w Apricot Fool
Recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller February 2007. Serves 6.

110g (½ cup) golden caster sugar
11 apricots, halved and stones removed
180ml (¾ cup) dessert wine (I used Botrytis Semillon)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
6 sprigs thyme
300ml thickened cream
Flaked almonds, toasted, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 190’C. Scatter sugar over the base of roasting tray. Place apricots, cut side down, over the sugar. Press firmly to coat then turn over.
2. Drizzle dessert wine and lemon juice over apricots, the scatter with lemon rind and thyme.
Roast for 25 minutes or until apricots are just cooked. Cool completely.
3. In a food processor, purée 4 roasted apricot halves and 2 tablespoons roasting juices until smooth.
4. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold through whipped cream to form a ripple.
5. To serve, spoon apricot fool into bowls, top with apricots and then roasting juices and scatter with almond flakes.


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