Caramelized Apricots, Pistachios and Peach Sauce

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Caramelized Apricots, Pistachios and Peach Sauce

Caramelized Apricots, Pistachios and Peach Sauce

If there is a season I wait for with impatience, it is spring. Why? Well, one of the reasons is the start of the apricot season. I love this fruit so much. When they are very fresh and ripe, they smell like fresh girolles— sweet, with a hint of dry leaf scent and a touch of flower blossom—and are simply gorgeous! So imagine what they are like when pan-fried and then served with crushed pistachios and a lemony peach syrup. You know what, I think I should stop talking about them now—let’s just make and enjoy them! By the way, fruit always cook best when it has either been brought back to room temperature before cooking or has been stored at room temperature. Never cook fruit straight from the refrigerator, as the shock of the heat will often make the fruit split or stick to the pan.
Ingredients

– SERVES 4.
– PREPARATION TIME 10 minutes.
– COOKING TIME 25 minutes.
– ½ cup superfine sugar.
– 2 large, ripe peaches, pits removed and roughly chopped.
– juice of 1 lemon.
– 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios.
– 2 tablespoons honey.
– 8 large, firm apricots, halved and pits removed.
– 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter.
– Pain de Gênes, to serve.

Instructions

Step 1: Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar and 1¼ cups water and heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid just starts to simmer. Add the peaches and lemon juice, return the water to a simmer and poach the peaches 8 to 10 minutes until very soft and almost pureed, but still holding a little shape. Strain them through a strainer, catching the syrup in a clean bowl, then leave the bowl and strainer to one side so the juices can drip into the syrup.
Step 2: Put the pan you’ve just used for the peaches back over medium heat. Add the pistachios and cook gently a few minutes until they are golden and slightly sticky. Drain them on a clean dish towel, then fold the towel over and gently crush the nuts using a rolling pin until they are just partially crushed.
Step 3: Put the same skillet back onto the heat again. Add the honey and when it is just foaming, add the apricots, cut-side down, and instantly start gently swirling the pan around so the apricots don’t stick or burn. Add the butter and when it is foaming, turn the apricots over and cook a few minutes until they are nicely caramelized. Add about ½ cup of the syrupy peach juices and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer until the apricots are lovely and tender, but are still holding their shape.
Step 4: Spoon the apricots over the peaches and drizzle with the last of the peach syrup. Sprinkle with the crushed pistachio pieces and serve with pain de gênes.

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