Sunday, August 22, 2010

Roasted Apricots

This is a recipe for those of us clever enough to be lazy about cooking. Sure, we can all be vigilant, and I encourage that whole-heartedly. It's great to learn new techniques and to be above the average in terms of knowledge and skill. If we're putting something into our bodies at least thrice daily, we want to be doing the best we can. But sometimes, it pays to be lazy, and I think that roasting fruit is the pinnacle of this.

We're not talking ridiculous Nigella-esqe "take-from-can-and-mix" type recipes here. When I think of easy food, food I can make whilst multi-tasking, I don't think about tins. I think about my oven, slow and electric though it may be. (What I wouldn't do for a fan-forced oven, oh my...)

These apricots were the last of a summer haul I found at the Dom Market. I bought half a kilo - that's ten apricots, in this case. Because they were probably among the last fruit left on their trees, and because the weather had been cold and rainy, these apricots were still relatively firm. I can't eat firm stonefruit still raw - the skin needs to peel off under my fingers, and juice needs to run down my arm. So roasting is a perfect way to deal with firmer fruits - they collapse and go deliciously juicy, plus the sweetness is concentrated.

Those are the apricots in the jar, still a little warm. If you leave these apricots in the fridge for a day or two (which you'll find ridiculously difficult to do), they develop a clear sweet syrup with an intense flavour. Don't discard this when you eat the apricots - mix it in with your yoghurt, or eat the apricots still drenched in syrup. It's amazing. See the jar below for frosty deliciousness, and note how much the syrup has increased:

This is so perfectly simple that you don't need a recipe, but here's the method anyway:

Roasted Apricots
In an oven-safe dish (not metallic please, or your fruit will discolour) roast halved apricots (or stonefruit of your choice) until soft and slightly browned - about 20-30 mins in an 180 degree C oven. Eat warm, drizzled with maple syrup or honey and dessicated coconut, or store in the fridge and eat as breakfast with natural soy yoghurt and flaked almonds.

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