A ripe apricot, all sunburned cheeks, candy nectar, and rust-brown freckles, is an extraordinary locate. Which, of the route, makes them all of the more valuable. Once for your hand, you can sneak off to a quiet vicinity to rub your arms over the pores and skin, to lick lips and suck stones, or better still, to skip the bag around amongst your nearest and dearest. But so ideal a fruit is the exception in preference to the rule of thumb.
Still, we will constantly rescue an underwhelming apricot with the utility of a bit of warmth. By which I imply an oven as opposed to a sunny windowsill. Whatever your beyond revel in with this fruit has been, I encourage you to present them another pass. Don’t give up at the hard, disappointing ones that promised so much in the shop. Give them time in the organization of sugar or honey or maple syrup. Tuck them in beneath a pie crust or hide them in a crumble. Singe their edges in a frangipane tart or bubble them down into a free-textured jam. Warmth and sugar will make even the meanest little apricot give up their all.
Apricots convey a hint of acidity to a lamb tagine (and to the sweetness of prunes, with which they may be so regularly partnered), a casserole of duck or a filled beef escalope. Earlier within the week, I located a handful round a roast loin of pork with onions and aubergines. The snap of tartness changed into welcome with the beauty of the beef and sleek brown onions inside the same way apple sauce is, and the juices of the collapsing fruit soaked their way into the aubergine.
It is the mild acidity that offers the apricot the edge over a peach inside the kitchen. Peach pie is perpetually too sweet. An apricot pie is the stuff of desires, specifically below a sugar-dusted crust of gentle, nearly shortcake-like pastry.
Once you receive that it’s far the client as opposed to the store that has to deliver the fruit to ideal ripeness and that the most lackluster specimen can be made to polish (even the maximum cussed will submit after an afternoon or in a paper bag within the airing cabinet), the apricot becomes less of a undertaking and plenty, a whole lot greater a issue of joy.
Roast pork with apricots and aubergine
I advocate you ask the butcher to bone and roll the red meat loin. It needs to weigh 1.5kg after boning. There might be lots for 6 (in which case use 12 apricots). I generally roast a bit this size for 4, leaving plenty for sandwiches the following day (with salt and pickled cabbage or kimchee.)
Peel the onions and cut them into quarters. Slice the aubergine into rounds 2cm thick. Put the onions and aubergine into a roasting tin, season with salt and black pepper and pour over the olive oil. Lay the red meat on the pinnacle of the vegetables, rub the fats with salt then location in the oven.
Let the beef roast for 25 mins, then decrease the temperature to 180C/gasoline mark 4 and quickly add the apricots and rosemary. Continue roasting for 70 mins then take away from the oven, cover loosely with kitchen foil and go away in a warm location for 20 mins. (I understand this sounds a long time, but accept as true with me, the meat could be all the extra juicy for it.)
Remove the meat from the tin and carve into thin slices then serve with the roasted onions and aubergine.
Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Put the sugar and Marsala in a 21cm tin dish (or frying pan with a metallic cope with) and heat over mild heat until the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking till the aggregate starts offevolved to caramelize, thickening to a syrup and turning walnut brown. Cut the butter into small cubes and upload to the pan, getting rid of it from the heat as quickly as the butter has melted.
Halve and stone the apricots, tuck an almond within the hollow of every, then place them, snugly and reduce aspect down, into the caramel. Roll the pastry out then, the usage of a bowl or tart tin base as a template, cut a disc of pastry 23cm in diameter. Lower the pastry into a location on the pinnacle of the fruit, tucking the rims in as you go.
Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes until the pastry has risen and the fruit is tender. Leave to relaxation before turning out the wrong way up. (Take wonderful care with this, as the caramel will still be hot.)
To make the cream, crack the cardamom pods, extract the dark brown seeds, and grind them to a first-rate powder with the icing sugar using a spice mill or espresso grinder. Pour the cream into a relaxing blending bowl and beat until smooth and thick (forestall properly before it is thick sufficient to face in peaks). Fold the yogurt into the cream, observed through the cardamom sugar. Scatter with flaked almonds and serve with the tart.