FOOD: Apricot mousse with candied pistachio

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Apricots are a favourite in our household, and with chilly, dry winters and hot summer sun, Central Otago is the perfect growing ground for this fruit. With apricots currently in season, I decided to recreate a recipe that was passed from my grandmother Nonnie to my mother and then on to me. My mother had jars of stewed apricots lining her kitchen cupboards, so we ate this dessert frequently — much to our delight. It is so incredibly simple to make, even my husband could make it. Enjoy this summer treat!

PREP TIME:  5 MINS

COOK TIME:  20 MINS

SERVES:  6 PEOPLE

INGREDIENTS

Mousse
500g fresh apricots
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons water
500ml cream

Candied Pistachio
Half a cup of shelled pistachios
1 tablespoon sugar

METHOD

1. Halve the apricots and take out the stones. In a medium-sized pot, gently heat the sugar and water until sugar has just dissolved.

2. Add the apricots, put the lid on and gently simmer for about 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Take the lid off after 10 mins and continue cooking until the apricots are very soft — about 5 more mins. Take off the heat to cool.

3. Meanwhile, roughly chop the pistachios (I actually just smashed mine a little in a mortar and pestle).

4. In a non-stick pan, heat the nuts and sugar on a medium heat until the sugar has melted and the nuts are slightly golden. Stir occasionally to ensure the nuts are covered in the melted sugar. Tip onto baking paper and let them cool. If you have trouble with
this step, add a tablespoon of water, it helps with melting the sugar.

5. Next, in a large bowl whip half the cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Once the apricots have cooled, tip into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the rest of the cream and blend until thoroughly combined.

6. With a spatula, gently fold the apricot mix into the whipped cream. Take six glasses and evenly spoon in the mousse. Top with the pistachios and serve.

NB:  You can refrigerate after preparing, just ensure you add the pistachio just before you serve.