Sometimes I take pictures with the intention of turning them into paintings. Sadly I haven’t produced a painting since my two little boys arrived but when I do get around to cracking the seal on the ol’ tubes of acrylic I have a mighty supply of subjects to chose from.
My love for apricots began with the first bite of my mother’s perfectly tart apricot pie. Even then I loved that the sweetness was a faint whisper letting the floral aroma and cheek-biting tart flavor steal the show.
We are in the midst of apricot season and I have made several batches of roasted apricots that have accompanied my morning oatmeal, panna cotta or have gone straight to my mouth. Currently in Seattle we are also in the midst of a record breaking heatwave and we are being downright wimpy about it.
Sadly I haven’t cracked the knob on my oven since last week leaving my longing for more apricots. Of course I could eat them fresh but I have to admit something to you, my dear friends, fresh apricots don’t do much for me. Whatever the little oven magicians do to them while roasted is just that – magic.
The flavors concentrate imparting a mellow sweetness and a sour sharpness that my tastebuds scream for. The texture is similar to that of jam making them the perfect addition to buttered toast.
So while I have to wait until this heat dies down before I venture away from the oscillating fan the least I can do is to encourage all of you to stock your kitchen with apricots.
My new favorite book, “The Flavor Bible”, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg suggests pairing Apricots with custards, honey, lemon, orange, cardamom, cayenne, white chocolate, vanilla, yogurt, vinegar (red wine), mascarpone, rosemary, chamomile, lavender, pistachios…. just to name a few. Obviously you wouldn’t combine all those flavors at one time but this just gives you an idea of how versatile this little fruit is.
Others who understand the delight of apricots: