Vanilla Roasted Apricots

by Amanda McInerney on 21/02/2013

One of my favourite things about summer is the seasonal fruit available – especially stone-fruit.  We grow some here on our hill and always get more plums than I can generally use, but rarely score any of the apricots or peaches from the greedy, marauding birds.  When I recall the stone fruit of my youth it conjures up the smells of summer and I have fond memories of hot afternoons sitting under the apricot tree in the back yard of my great-aunts, feasting on the sun-warmed ambrosial fruit.  Sadly, that is not the case with much stone-fruit today which is picked green to facilitate transport and storage.  If you want the real, sweet, fragrance of summer you need to grow your own apricots or buy them from a farmers market.

The apricot is actually a species of Prunus and has been cultivated since ancient times, probably originating in Armenia.  These fruit trees are now cultivated all around the globe and grow particularly well here in South Australia, in the Riverland.  If you don’t grow your own and can’t manage to get to the farmers market, but lust after this taste of summer there is another way to coax the very best of the the flavours out of these golden globes and it is as simple as roasting them!

Roasting apricots caramelises the sugars and releases the perfumed juice.   The addition of vanilla adds depth to the concentrated flavours produced from this and I’ve included a couple of ingredients that will complement and lift the apricots up a notch.

Vanilla Roasted Apricots
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Roasting apricots caramelises the sugars and releases the perfumed juice. The addition of vanilla adds depth to the concentrated flavours produced from this and I’ve included a couple of ingredients that will complement and lift the apricots up a notch.
Author:
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 8 fresh apricots, halved & stoned
  • ¼ cup vanilla sugar (see note)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp butter
  • 6 gingernut biscuits, crushed
  • orange blossom water
  • Thick cream or yoghurt to serve

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Place apricots, cut side up, in a greased baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle generously with the vanilla sugar then place a teaspoon of crushed gingernut biscuits in each half, following with a knob of butter on each one.
  4. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, until fruit is collapsing and soft.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle the fruit with the orange blossom water before serving with either cream or yoghurt.

Notes
Vanilla sugar is simple to make – just pop a vanilla pod in a container of caster sugar and leave it there for a week or two to perfume the sugar. Alternatively, if you are lucky enough to have a Thermomix simply throw a vanilla pod into the TM with a cup of sugar and blitz until the pod is pulverised with the sugar.

 

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Tandy February 22, 2013 at 2:09 am

I’ve never thought to roast fruit before but this sounds so great I shall give it a go :)

Judy February 22, 2013 at 10:21 am

Great idea Amanda, if only someone would drop off some home grown apricots to my front door! Roasting fruit or vegies brings out the flavour and we don’t do enough of it.

Try roasting a couple of punnets of strawberries in a small baking dish with 1/3 cup castor sugar sprinkled over the top – 200 degrees C 10-15 minutes or until the strawberries are soft and syrupy. I like to then reduce the syrup on the top of the stove if it’s too runny, add the strawberry back into it and then pour over individual pavlovas and top with cream. It takes the flavour of strawberries to a different level.

Hotly Spiced February 22, 2013 at 10:31 am

I grew up eating stone fruit picked fresh (and ripe) from trees in our backyard. Apricots are probably my most favourite stone fruit but I haven’t bought them for a few years because they are so disappointing – not juicy and no flavour. It is true you have to find these in an organic store or a farmer’s market to take me back to my childhood. Roasting them is a lovely idea. It would bring out their sweetness xx

Kate February 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm

How easy but so delicious – really proves that less is more.

InTolerant Chef February 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm

This really sounds wonderful Amanda! We always had plum overload but no apricots thanks to the birdies.
I’ve been doing a post about roasted apricots too, teamed with amaretti biscuits- when I put it up I promise I won’t be copying you! We just both obviously have wonderful taste and appreciation for luscious summer fruits :)

Lizzy (Good Things) February 22, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Such a wonderful way to bring out the best in the fruit, Amanda, just beautiful!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul February 23, 2013 at 10:04 am

I too have been experimenting with roasted stone fruit…love what you have produced here Amanda! And extra points for the orange blossom water!

Amanda McInerney February 23, 2013 at 10:18 am

Bec – the gingernuts came into play when I couldn’t find any amaretti bics in my local shop, so just a happy accident really!

Amanda McInerney February 23, 2013 at 10:19 am

Peter – I love it when I get that little extra bit of inspiration. Doesn’t happen all the time though.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I had the sweetest apricots in Finland. As nice as they are here in Australia, these were in another world altogether! They were so sweet, they tasted like plump Turkish dried apricots.

JJ - 84thand3rd February 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

Yum, the addition of gingernuts sounds great! Fruit bought anywhere never tastes as nice as straight off a tree or from a roadside farm stand!

Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas February 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm

I love the apricot & vanilla combination. I make apricot & vanilla jam every year but never thought to roast them together. Great idea. I love roasted fruit but have never tried apricots. I will now. Thanks.

Catherine Bedson February 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

That’s one thing I’m going to miss about Summer…the beautiful stone fruit and berries. My daughter asked me yesterday to buy up on raspberries while their still in season. My family would love these roasted apricots with some vanilla ice cream for dessert..yum.

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