Sunday, 17 July 2011
One of the things I love most about summer is all the fresh fruit that is available . . . right now in the shops we have tons of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, currants (both black and red) early plums, nectarines and lovely apricots!
Just right for eating out of hand, or sandwiched between sponge cakes with cream. I especially love raspberries and strawberries in cakes.
Stone fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots are beautiful when lightly poached. I found a recipe in the Summer 2011 issue of BBC Easy Cook magazine for some vanilla poached apricots and they looked so delicious I just had to try them out.
The recipe called for a bottle of dry rose wine. Now, I know nothing much about wines. I'll admit it right now. We don't drink alcohol. I do have a few bottles in my larder that I use for cooking though . . . and oftimes when the grocery shops offer those two can eat for a tenner deals, I always pick up the bottle of wine with the deal. Coz . . . like I said I like to use it in cooking.
I used a bottle of Prosecco for this today. It was rose in colour so I thought it would go very well. I think also, from watching Giada, that Prosecco is an Italian Dessert wine?? (Am I right??) In any case that is what I used and they turned out fabulous.
Nice and tender with a beautifully flavoured syrup. Todd enjoyed his warm with a nice scoop of vanilla icecream on top.
I think simple fruit desserts are the best desserts of all!
*Poached Vanilla Apricots*
Delicously tender apricots in a sweet vanilla syrup. Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream for a real treat.
750ml bottle of dry rose wine (6 cups)
175g of caster sugar (2/3 cup)
1 vanilla pod, split open lengthwise with a sharp knife and then cut into 4 (leave seeds intact)
700g of ripe apricots (about 12)
Pour the wine into a pan along with the sugar and the vanilla pieces. Stir over low heat until the sugar melts. Add the apricots. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat just until the apricots have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes for whole fruit, and 10 to 15 minutes for halved fruit.
Lift the apricots out of the wine mixture with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat and boil for 8 to 10 minutes until syrupy. Pour over the apricots and leave to cool. Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream if you wish.