When Vibrant Food arrived in my mailbox a few weeks back I did a little jig. San Francisco writer and photographer Kimberley Hasselbrink has become a buddy of mine over the past couple of years - we've both been writing and shooting our first cookbooks, riding that roller coaster at the same time, and now here she is with her book in print. For real.
Kimberley's book is gorgeous. It's packed with stunning photographs and recipes with great flavor combos all organized by season, just the kind of food I like to cook. I got my copy of Vibrant Food right before we left for Greece. (Yes, I'm back in Greece with P, the kids, and my mom soaking up sun and family time before my own book hits stores August 19th.) I didn't have nearly enough time before we left to really dive in, play, and cook from Kimberley's book the way I wanted to, but I did get a chance to make her poached apricots a couple of times before we hit the road.
If you're an apricot fan, you like that tangy-sweet thing these beauties have going for them. Surprisingly, I've found that the tartness only intensifies when the fruit is cooked, so I like pairing the poached apricots with vanilla ice cream. The creamy sweetness of the ice cream mixes with the silky tartness of the apricot (flavored with just a hint of rose water, cardamom, and honey) in a really nice way. One of my favorite things about this recipe is the way the texture of apricot really changes during poaching... the fruit becomes tender and velvety.
Happy Summer everyone!
INGREDIENTS slightly adapted from Kimberley Hasselbrink's Vibrant Food
- 8 ripe, but firm, apricots
- 2 cups tap water
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon rose water (if you're not a fan of rose water you can leave it out)
- optional: vanilla ice cream
Bring water and honey to a boil in a medium saucepan (large enough to hold the apricots). Whisk occasionally to integrate the honey as it melts. When the liquid comes to a boil, add cardamom and rosewater. Whisk again to blend all ingredients, then add apricots to the poaching liquid. Simmer the fruit for 3-6 minutes, keeping in mind that a riper apricot will need less poaching time.
Use a slotted spoon to remove apricots from the pan. Set aside and simmer the poaching liquid until it reduces by half into a lovely syrup.
Serve apricots with vanilla ice cream with a drizzling of syrup. Easy and delish!