WWhen the first apricots arrive, it’s a glorious indication that more will follow. The combination of apricots and almonds is delicate and beautiful, while the thyme in the syrup is tender enough not to overwhelm the dish, but just enough to make you laugh. Make this for friends who want a lighter end to dinner. It’s very important to taste the apricots before poaching them, and then again after that: fruits vary in sweetness and flavor, so adjust the sugar content in the syrup accordingly.
Poached apricots and almond cream
Preparation 10 minutes
infuse 1 hour
Cook 1 hour 15 minutes
Hang out 2-4 hours
120 g sugar
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
8 apricotshalved and stoned
40 g slivered almonds
160ml Full Milk
45 g caster sugar
110 ml whipped cream
2 gelatin sheets
1 tbsp icing sugar
Make the poaching liquid by placing the sugar in a pan with 300 ml of water and heating it until it steams. Add the thyme and halved apricots and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the fruit softens and the rind separates from the flesh.
Turn off the heat, let the fruit sit in the hot liquid for five minutes, then carefully lift out the apricots and peel off the skin. Return the fruit to the liquid, remove the thyme stalks, discard and let them cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the almond cream. Toast the almonds in a dry pan until golden brown and then add the milk, sugar and whipped cream. When it starts to simmer, remove from heat and let it steep for an hour.
Strain the milk mixture through a sieve and set the drained almond flakes aside. Soak the gelatin in ice cold water until soft. Gently heat the milk mixture until it steams, then squeeze out the excess water from the gelatin, add the soft leaves to the hot milk and whisk to dissolve.
Divide the milk mixture evenly among four ramekins or dariole moulds, allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for two to four hours until completely cooled.
Meanwhile, make the almond topping. Preheat oven to 170C (150C Fan)/325F/Gas 3. Place reserved, drained almond flakes in a bowl with the icing sugar and toss to combine. Spread the nuts on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool, then crush coarsely.
Gently heat the apricots and serve with a little of their poaching liquid and the chilled cream and sprinkled with the toasted almonds.