Last Thursday while poking around our Farmers’ Market, I noticed a small basket of apricots. Less than a dozen of these golden jewels lay in it and they were not even quite ripe yet. The first of the season for us.
Of course, I bought most of them and placed them in a bowl in a cool place to let them slowly ripen. Within four days they were as sweet and flavorful as you could imagine.
To me, no other fruits evoke summer as much as apricots do. Perhaps it is because of my trips to Tuscany and Provence where I discovered how intense their flavor could be, which made the supermarket apricots I’d been buying all my life taste like aliens!
Now, I restrain myself and wait until I can buy them from our local orchard. Even with all the rain we got this spring these locally grown gems were fabulous.
Once I have my fill of eating them on their own, I like to make a quick compote with them. Served with ice cream, it becomes an elegant dessert for a dinner party. But it’s also incredibly delicious with yogurt, with a slice of pound cake or even for breakfast on top of pancakes.
One more thing, you can make this compote with other summer fruits: cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums… It is incredibly versatile and delicious to boot.
And don’t be tempted to skimp on the whisky – it makes this simple compote no less than sinful!
Apricot Compote with Scotch Whisky and Ice Cream
active time: 15 min
- 1 1/4 lbs (567gr) ripe apricots – pitted and cut in 1/4″ slices
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup organic sugar
- 1/3 cup blended Scotch whisky (or Cognac)
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- lemon balm or mint leaves as garnish
- Step 1: Place the apricot slices in a medium heavy bottomed pan. Add the lemon juice and sugar and heat over medium-high heat. Stir well and fast-simmer for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. The apricots will release their juices and the sauce will become foamy. Turn off the heat, add the whisky and stir well. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
- Step 2: Scoop the ice cream into dessert bowls. Top with the apricot compote. Garnish with a lemon balm or mint leaf. Serve immediately.
- Cook’s note: The compote can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
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Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.