Tag Archives: apricots

Apricot gelato with honey

Apricots My first years in Rome, I would go to the local market in Testaccio and come home with something I had absolutely no idea what was. That happened frequently. How to prepare this? “Olio! Aglio! Acqua!” The stallholders would say, and I would experiment. One day I bought lovely yellow fruits, like fuzzy plums. An English friend enlightened me. Apricots! How exotic! Being Norwegian, I had never seen them before. Since then, I have learned to recognize and appreciate fresh apricots. Poached in prosecco, in cakes and tarts, or as here: a simple gelato. I am bringing this to Fiesta Friday 24, with compliments and thanks to the four hosts this week.   image Apricot gelato with honey
200 grammes semi-skimmed milk
450 grammes pitted apricots, puréed (about ten, depending on size)
50 grammes sugar
50 grammes honey

No need to peel the apricots. Wash, pit and roughly chop the apricots, then puré them. Add milk, sugar and honey, and mix well. Pour mixture into your gelato maker, and let it churn until the gelato has thickened and frozen. I have a Kitchenaid icecream attachment, one of those bowls you first freeze. Ideally your kitchen would not be 30C this day, but we do the best we can…. Eventually the mixture was almost frozen, so we spooned some into wine glasses and froze the rest. That’s it! Enjoy!

If you do not have an ice cream contraption, spoon the mixture into a plastic container and pop it in the fridge, stirring a few times over the next couple hours while it freezes. 

image Clover honey, bought last year while on holidays in San Marco Castellabate.

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Notes: I really fancied gelato, but with a hot Rome kitchen I could not face roasting or cooking the apricots, or going out for cream/ricotta/mascarpone. So this is adapted from Gluttony Loves Company Homemade Apricot Gelato, which looked great. I decreased the sugar overall and added honey: Chop, blend, freeze. Hey presto! Great apricot flavour. 

Apricot gelato with honey

Now I am going to sample some more Fiesta Friday deliciousness. What a wonderful spread!

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Apricot streusel cake (and freezer excavation)

imageMy Norwegian relatives all have chest freezers. Big, sturdy, capable of storing large cuts of moose and deer, self-caught fish, buckets of foraged berries, extra cakes and loaves of bread. You never know, you might get snowed in. Living in a sunny but space-limited flat in Rome, I still hanker for a chest freezer, but make do with my fridge-freezer. However, my small freezer is stuffed: peas, Norwegian salmon, extra brown cheese, herbs from the balcony ….. and box after box of icy mystery bits. Soup, leftover cheese, experimental sorbets, a pea risotto, eggwhites….. What IS all this? And why is there never room in my freezer?

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Here is the first stowaway located: apricots from last July. Probably tossed in the freezer the night before a holiday, and since forgotten. This is clearly a sign to make an apricot cake. This was inspired by The Food Librarian’s Nectarine Streusel Coffee Cake which I bookmarked last summer and never got around to trying. Her cake looks so delicious! I used apricots, added some wholewheat flour and an extra egg, and reduced the amounts of butter and sugar.

Apricot streusel cake
Cake:
2 eggs
1/2 cup lowfat milk
40 gr softened butter
200 grammes plain flour
25 gr wholewheat flour
35 gr sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

13-14 apricot halves (mine were still a bit frozen), pitted and unpeeled but sliced

Streusel topping:
75 gr plain flour
25 gr wholewheat flour
50 gr light brown sugar
15 gr white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
20 gr cold butter, shaved in

Heat your oven to 220C. Line a 20×30 cm baking pan (a small rectangle) with baking paper.

Beat two eggs and milk. Add softened butter (I just put it in an ovenproof dish in the pre-heating oven for a couple of minutes). Whisk in flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Spread batter in base of baking pan (it may look thin, but it will rise.) Having sliced your apricot halve into 3-4 pieces each, scatter them over the batter base and press them lightly into batter. No fancy pattern in apricot pieces here, this is just a simple cake for our afternoon tea.

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For the streusel topping: mix flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. With a knife, shave the cold butter in and press mixture with a fork, until it looks like large crumbs. Scatter this evenly over the apricot-topped batter base.

Bake 35-40 minutes at 220C, depending on your oven, until the visible cake at edges looks lightly golden and the streusel topping is getting a bit of golden colour but is not turning dark. You wil see the fruit juices bubbling through in some places. Enjoy as soon as it is cool enough to be held!

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Notes: for an impromptu cake, this was very nice! The partially thawed apricots worked well, they are still nice and tart against the cake and streusel, which were still plenty sweet despite reducing the sugar in the cake batter from 150 grammes to 35 grammes. I am still experimenting with using less butter and sugar in baking, while retaining enough flavour to enjoy the result with a nice cup of tea. I might try this again with pears. Now I just need to plot what to do with the rest of those frozen apricots, now back in the freezer but in a much smaller box. Hmmmmm……. Any suggestions?

Celebrating summer with a golden clafoutis with apricots

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I had made a tasty but rather homely cherry clafoutis. For the detailed recipe, see The Observer, Sunday 26 June 2011: Nigel Slater’s classic cherry clafoutis. I thought the last clafoutis was a little flat, but that might may well been the 00 flour. So I this time I added a bit of baking powder, and a bit less sugar, and it was gorgeous.

A golden clafoutis with apricots

8-10 apricots, stoned and halved (about 350-400 grammes)
50g sugar
2 eggs
50g of plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
150ml of milk
a splash of Amaretto, optional
20g of melted butter

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Preheat the oven to 180C and butter your dish. Layer the apricots in with the cut side up, and pour over a splash of Amaretto, if you like that. Just enough for a little on each apricot half. Whisk together all the other ingredients to a smooth batter, and pour it over the apricots. Bake until the clafoutis is golden and puffed up. Sprinkle with icing sugar, and eat warm or cold.

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