Cardamom poached apricots

Cardamom poached apricots

By
From
How to Cook Desserts
Serves
4
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

This recipe uses a spiced syrup to infuse the apricots with a subtle flavour of cardamom. You could use a cinnamon stick or a star anise instead if you prefer. The poached apricots can also be frozen, although they will soften a little more when they are defrosted.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 orange
100g granulated sugar
100ml water
150ml sweet dessert wine
6-8 cardamom pods
500g apricots

Method

  1. Finely pare the zest from the orange in a long strip and squeeze the juice. Put the sugar into a medium saucepan with the water and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Add the dessert wine, orange zest and juice. Crack the cardamom pods and add these to the pan too.
  2. Cut the apricots in half and remove the stones. Add the apricots to the sugar syrup and cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes, or until they are soft but not falling apart. If they are very ripe, take the pan off the heat as soon as the sugar syrup starts steaming.
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the spices and serve the apricots at room temperature with some of the syrup spooned over. They are lovely with ice cream, crème fraîche or Greek yoghurt.

Variations

  • To make poached spiced plums, use plums instead of apricots. Omit the dessert wine, increase the water to 250ml and up the sugar to 200g. Add a vanilla pod, split lengthways, a cinnamon stick and a star anise to the poaching liquid in place of the orange and cardamom. Poach gently for 10 minutes, or until the plums are tender but still keeping their shape. Leave to cool in the syrup and, once cool, remove the vanilla pod and spices.

    To make greengages with ginger, use greengages instead of apricots. Replace the orange and cardamom with a 4cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced. Poach the greengages gently for 10 minutes, or until they are tender but still keeping their shape. Remove the ginger slices when the greengages have cooled and stir in 2 pieces of preserved stem ginger, chopped.

A note on poaching...

  • Poaching is a very gentle method of cooking that allows for the transfer of flavours and ensures that the fruit does not break up during cooking. The liquid is kept below a simmer; a small bubble should only occasionally break the surface.
Tags:
leiths
desserts
baking
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