Since the arrival summer I have found that not only have my surroundings change (flowers and new produce everywhere) but the way I approach food has as well. I believe that warm summer days call for meals and treats that take little to no effort, but that nevertheless still satisfy. Stone fruits, tomatoes, watermelons, berries—this season yields much of my very favorite fruits and vegetables. In keeping things simple, I am always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy seasonal produce, like these gorgeous apricots I picked up last week. When I bought them John and I only had a few days before our trip to Europe (which we are currently on) and I wanted to put these apricots to good use before we left.
Poaching these apricots seemed to be the best way for me to use all of this beautiful fruit without having to destroy my kitchen. Also, having these poached apricots on hand proved to be the perfect thing because they ended up being my last meal before we left for the airport: a bowl of cottage cheese topped with these delicious apricots. Simple, yet delicious!
The syrup for these apricots isn't overly sweet, which is something I prefer. I really like how a little tartness comes through from the skin of the apricots, although if you want something a little sweeter, you could always use more sugar. Spoon these yummy apricots over yogurt, ice cream, or eat them on their own—there's really is no wrong way to eat these.
John and I are currently traveling through Europe right now, so be sure to check out my Instagram stories to take a peek of the places we visit.
Cardamom Poached Apricots
adapted from Epicurious
1/2 vanilla bean 1 1/4 cups water 3/4 cup dark brown sugar 2 (4- by 1-inch) fresh lemon strips 1/8 teaspoon salt 6 cardamom pods, smashed pinch kosher salt 1 pound firm-ripe fresh apricots, washed, halved lengthwise and pitted
Equipment: Large saucepan, knife, sealable jar for storage
Carefully, split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out its seeds. Add the seeds and the pod to the saucepan, along with the water, sugar, lemon strips, cardamom pods, and salt. Set the saucepan over high heat and bring everything to a boil, uncovered, and let boil for 1 minute.
Add apricots to the saucepan, then adjust the heat so the liquid is at a bare simmer. Poach the apricots, turning over once, until fruit they are tender but still holds its shape and skins are still intact. This can take anywhere from 3-6 minutes, so keep a close eye and test with a knife once you think they are ready.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the apricots to a jar, or large bowl. Bring the syrup to a heavy simmer and let the syrup reduce for an additional 6-7 minutes. Strain the syrup and pour into the jar, or bowl holding the apricots. If you like you can add the vanilla bean pod to the jar, or bowl, but you can also dicard it at this point.
Let the apricots and cool to room temperature before using. Store in the fridge in a sealable jar for up to about 5 days or so.