Tangy, Sweet, Sunset Coloured Apricots
It’s high season for summer fruits! Plums, peaches, watermelons, and honeydew are great examples. But this time we go for apricots which is a wonderfully sweet fruit that thrives locally. A preserve to be used later, a light salad, an unusual chicken liver dish and a simple jelly desert. Tinned apricots can be an alternative, but certainly fresh is always fresh.
Recipes and photography by Claire Borg.
Makes about 3 jars
1kg of Ripe Apricots
1 Tsp of Ground Cinnamon
1 Cinnamon Stick
500 Grams Sugar
250ml Apple Cider Vinegar
250ml of White Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
Peel the orange and roughly cut it in chunks. Using a fork lightly crush the orange pieces.
Slice the apricots. Place everything into a heavy based saucepan and over a low flame cook and stir until the sugar dissolves. Regulate the flame until you achieve a low but steady boil. Cook gently until you reach the right consistency (about 1 hour or a bit more).
Fill into hot sterilized jars and seal immediately. You will hear the tops pop, which is a sign that they are properly vacuum sealed. Store for at least 5 weeks before using for the flavours to settle and mature. If stored properly you can keep them up to 3 years. Store in the fridge once opened.
Mixed Salad Leaves
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Orange Juice from 1/2 an Orange
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
To make the dressing, whisk together the juice, olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar and pepper.
Arrange the salad and at the very last minute drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.
Fantastic with a side serving of crusty bread, chutney and more cheese.
300 Grams of Chicken Livers
1 Small Onion
3 Rashes of Smoked Bacon
Small Bunch of White Grapes
4 Kumquats – blanched in boiling water for 3 times
4 Ripe Apricots
Some Chicken Stock
Shot of Brandy
Knob of Butter & Some Olive Oil
Milk for Soaking
Some White Wine
Clean and trim the livers, then soak them in milk for at least an hour. Rinse them off in water, then a little white wine before you start.
Finely dice the onion and cook it in some butter and oil until soft. Add the quartered kumquats (make sure you have blanched them at least 3 times as this will take out the bitterness and start to cook the fruit which takes a longer cooking time than the livers), the sliced bacon and the livers. Add the shot of brandy and cook for a few minutes until the livers are just slightly underdone. Add the apricots, a little chicken stock and cook for a few minutes. At the very end add the toasted pine nuts and serve on toasted crusty bread and a side salad if serving as a light lunch.
2 Packets Apricot or Orange Jelly
A Handful of Blueberries
300ml Boiling Water
600ml White Wine
Following the pack instructions to prepare the jelly. The second amount of liquid to be added should be white wine. Prepare 1 pack to start with, the other later. Place the apricot halves in a large flat surfaced bowl or dish and decorate with blueberries. Add enough jelly so just half of the apricots are submerged and place in fridge until set. When set in place, pour the rest of the cool jelly (or make then other half in the same way) over the fruit to just cover and put it back in the fridge until it sets.
This feature was published in our July/August ’13 issue of the foodie.