Stewed apricots with crunchy almonds…
This is such a lovely dessert, or breakfast…its vibrant colours makes it look hugely appetising and it tastes out of this world. Then there’s the tart-sweet taste of the ripe, they must be ripe, apricots. The gently stewed fruit is topped with sweet, crunchy baked almonds. They’re like an alternative crumble mixture and can be a topping for many desserts, or scattered on ice cream. This dessert is best served warm, straight from the pan, and with cream, crème fraîche or ice cream. For breakfast, we recommend you try it with a spoonful of yoghurt, and maybe miss out the kirsch!
- 10 ripe apricots
- 40ml water
- 40g caster sugar
- 10g unsalted butter
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 80g flaked almonds
- 2 tablespoons of water (or kirsch - eau-du-vie)
- 30g icing sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
- Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees/gas 5
- Halve the apricots lengthways and remove the stones. Reserve.
- Pour the water into a medium-sized deep-sided sauté pan or saucepan (about 25cm in diameter). Add the caster sugar and leave it for a few minutes to be absorbed. Bring to the boil on a medium-high heat and within a few minutes you will have a very pale, blond, thick-syrup. Just before it becomes a caramel, add the butter and swirl the pan so that the syrup thickens and emulsifies.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan. (Tip: pour a little cold water into the squeezed lemon half and then squeeze again - this will extract the maximum amount of juice)
- Lastly, lay the apricot halves in the pan and stir gently. It'll be quite a tight fit for the apricots, but thats perfect. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer (too high and the apricots will fall apart). Cook like this for 10-15 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the apricots.
- While the apricots are cooking, prepare the almonds. In a medium-sized bowl, stir them with the water (or kirsch). Next, sift the icing sugar over the almonds and stir again, so that they are sugar-coated. Spread the almonds evenly on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 9-10 minutes, until golden.
- Remove the tray from the oven and leave them to cool for a few minutes. You will have crusty clusters of golden, baked almonds.
- Serve the stewed apricots at the table straight from the pan, or transfer them to a shallow serving dish. Just before serving, scatter the almonds over the warm apricots - enjoy!