Glazed apricots with pistachios and filo

Glazed apricots with pistachios and filo

By
From
I Love India
Serves
4-5
Photographer
Martin Poole

This dish is known as “the sweet made from apricots” and was brought to Hyderabad with the ruling Moghuls. At first glance it may seem too simple to grace Moghul tables, but apricots were local to where the Moghuls came from in central Asia, so they were dried and brought across the continent. They were then cooked unadulterated, served only with some nuts and cream (both expensive ingredients) – no fillers, no filters; the ultimate show of wealth. This dish is still popular in Hyderabad, a southern Indian city, but people now add saffron or cardamom pods to the apricots; I prefer them without. I have added pieces of filo for texture; it works so well with the soft, sweet apricots and the cool cream. This dish is definitely more than the sum of its parts. I don’t like my desserts too sweet, but add the extra sugar if you aren’t like me. I like the complexity of roasted salted pistachios here, but you can use plain.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g dried apricots
21/2-3 tablespoons sugar, to taste
2 filo pastry sheets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
200ml double cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
handful roasted pistachios, salted or plain, roughly sliced or chopped

Method

  1. Earlier in the day, or even the evening, before you want to make the dish, soak the apricots in a bowl with plentiful water to cover.
  2. When you are ready to cook, drain the apricots, place them in a saucepan and cover with 5cm water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 25–30 minutes, or until soft, adding the sugar halfway and turning the apricots in the syrupy water as they soften, to make sure they are all a little glazed. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  3. There should be 4–5 tbsp of syrup left in the pan. If it seems watery, boil it down a little; if it is too thick, add a spoon or so of boiling water.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Roughly tear the filo into large pieces, I try to tear them into odd-sized shards of maybe 5cm maximum, but it isn’t important to be precise. Melt the butter and toss the filo shards in it. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and scatter the filo pieces over it. Bake in the hot oven until golden, giving the bits a stir every now and again to make sure there is even browning. It only takes a few minutes. Take out.
  5. When ready to eat, lightly whip the cream. Shake or sprinkle a little icing sugar over the filo. Make sure all the apricots are glazed; if necessary, dip them in the syrup.
  6. Place the apricots in the bottom of 4–5 small dessert dishes, or a serving bowl. Top with a good dollop of the cream, pile over lots of filo shards so that they are slightly vertiginous, sprinkle over the pistachios and drizzle over the extra syrup. Serve.
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