Poached apricots with lemon thyme junket

Poached apricots with lemon thyme junket

By
From
Real Food by Mike
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

Junket is something my grandmother made for me. It was one of those dishes from wartime that have few ingredients but taste absolutely delicious. The texture of junket is very delicate, and this is what I love. It’s like the softest jelly you could imagine, so set it in your jars and try not to move it too much or it will crack. Junket is also good with other infusions – try bay leaf or lavender. The apricots here are very simply poached. However, if you happen to find a whole box at the market, make the syrup from the water, wine, vanilla bean and brandy with double the amount of sugar, placing all the ingredients in jars, and cook it like Bottled pears. These will stay in your larder, at ambient temperature, for a year or until you decide to eat them.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200ml water
200ml white wine
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
10 apricots, stoned and halved
60ml brandy

Lemon thyme junket

Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 junket tablets
1 tablespoon cold water
430ml full-cream milk
40g caster sugar
10g lemon thyme leaves, chopped

Method

  1. For the lemon thyme junket, dissolve the junket tablets in the cold water.
  2. In a saucepan over low heat, warm the milk, sugar and lemon thyme until tepid (36–40°C), using a cooking thermometer to check the temperature.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the dissolved junket, stirring well. Strain the mixture into sterilised jars and refrigerate until set (2–3 hours).
  4. For the apricots, combine all the ingredients, except the apricots and brandy, in a large saucepan over medium–high heat. Simmer for 2 minutes before adding the apricots. Remove the pan from the heat and let the apricots steep for 10 minutes. When tender, remove the apricots and set them aside.
  5. Simmer the syrup left in the pan for 5 minutes or until it reduces to a glossy consistency. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the brandy and set aside to cool. Return the apricots to the syrup and they are now ready to serve or store in jars in the pantry.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Apricots are an excellent source of dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They’re particularly rich in vitamin A and carotenoids, which are vital for healthy eyes. Lemon thyme, and regular thyme for that matter, contain thymol. This essential oil is antiseptic and antifungal and is useful for respiratory ailments, indigestion and easing menstrual cramps. Thyme can also be used to treat depression, insomnia and headaches.
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