Friday, July 8, 2011

BAKED APRICOTS STUFFED WITH ALMOND PASTE - MONTHLY MINGLE

Baked Apricots 2 bis
With the arrival of hotter weather and to my biggest pleasure, some of my favorite fruits are starting to grace (super)market stalls. They are so fabulous that I can never get enough of them. Not one week passes by without me making either pies, pastries, cakes, trifles, crumbles, clafoutis or cobblers in my itsy-bitsy apartment kitchen.

The craze already begins in May when the first Swiss rhubarb stems (I know, it is a vegetable, but I mostly prepare it just like a fruit - that's how I like it best) and strawberries are available, then at the end of June
they slowly get replaced by apricots, peaches, nectarines as well as all kinds of berries (gooseberries, redcurrants, raspberries, blackberries, etc...) and, finally in August, after an endless and interminable year of lusting, the king of all stone fruits makes it's appearance, my beloved Italian plum. Not forgetting that not long after, they are very closely followed by raisins and apples (and so on)...

Ah, Nature is indisputably plentiful and perfect! It never fails to make our senses work and months after month, it incessantly offers a vast array of wonderful produces, no matter the time of the year. Why would we want to buy vegetables or fruits that are not seasonal, stuffed with chemicals, were grown in non-humane ways, have flown miles to reach us, thus contributed to dirtying the air we breathe, are overpriced and taste like nothing when we have the opportunity to help our farmers, to enjoy organic or chemical-free goods, to treat our tastebuds rightfully, to not spoil our precious planet, our to and to follow the rythm of the seasons without letting ourselves get overwhelmed by stupid and incoherent needs?

You see, I am getting sick and tired of seeing people who crave the wrong food at the wrong moment, who are acutely detached from the Earth that they don't know if what they buy is grown in "laboratories" or naturally in fields, who think that it is normal to be able to find what they want when they want and who don't give damn about their despicable attitude or the effect it can have on their lives!

The beauty of consuming goods that were cultivated sustainably and in harmony with the environment is that you never get bored with them as those produces aren't generally available all the time, hence you can be assured that there's always a rotation. In that way, you look even more forward to eating those greengrocery items because you had to wait for so long in order to finally be able to savor them. The unbearable longing as well as the extreme yearning induced by the unfathomable break, the sheer joy that you feel when you know that a produce will soon be sold again and the exhilarating thrill you experience while taking your first bite of that highly anticipated vegetable or fruit is just incomparable and has to be cherished. Deprivation helps us appreciate them to a greater extend and not take things for granted. Fulfillment doesn't come through spoiltness...

Baked Apricots Bee 1 5 bis
Consequently, when I saw the very first Swiss apricots from Valais (some of the world's finest apricots), I was overcome with immense happiness. After having indulged in rhubarb for the past weeks, those amazingly fragrant, gorgeously juicy and vibrantly colored stone fruits offered a very welcome change.

Since my aim was to highlight their delightful sourness that is beau
tifully counterbalanced by their incredible nectarousness, which are both coupled with breathtakingly musky and heady aromas, I chose to make a refined North-African and Provence inspired dessert with that sun-engorged treat.

I searched online for quite a while before I stumbled upon what I was looking for. "Baked Apricots Stuffed With Almond Paste" it was going to be. Of course, there was no way I would prepare my round and orange furry little babies without making a few ad
aptations to the original recipe. I always have to add a personal touch to everything and I am constantly compelled to increase quantities as I'm afraid my food will not be adequably palatable. It is a bit of an illness. My nickname could well be "Madame Never Enough".

I kept the same amount of
filling, but I decided to reduce the number of fruits as well as to incorporate a few drops extra almond essence and orange blossom water to the paste and for a more complex flavor, I thought it would be interesting to delicately infuse the syrup with a little lavender flower. An excellent decision!

The unique combination of tart apricots, sweet almond paste, pungent distilled water, marzipan-tasting almond essence and balmy dried lavender flowers is just out of this world. It results in an ambrosial and refined dessert which will get you hooked. Impossible to resist to such an exquisite delicacy...

MMBadge-StoneFruit-07-2011
This is my entry for Monthly Mingle hosted by Sukaina of the lovely blog "Sips And Spoonfuls". The theme is "Stone Fruits".

Baked Apricots 8 bis
~ Baked Apricots Stuffed With Almond Paste ~
Recipe adapted from "Dessert.net.au".

Serves 4.

Ingredients For The "Syrup":
75g (1/2 Cup) Castor sugar
3 Tbs Lemon juice
1/3 Tsp Dried lavender flowers
300ml (1 1/4 Cup) Water
Ingredients For The "Stuffed Apricots":
120g (1 Cup) Finely ground almonds
50g (1/2 Cup) Powder/icing sugar
45g (3 Tbs) Melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tsp Orange blossom water
1 Tsp Almond essence/extract
1 1/2 Tsp Water
1 Pinch Fine sea salt
800g Fresh apricots, washed

Method For The "Syrup":
1. Place the sugar, lemon juice, lavender flowers and water in a medium-small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved, then let simmer for 5-10 minutes, until you get a thin sugar syrup.
2. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).

Baked Apricots Sky 4 bis
Method For The "Stuffed Apricots":
3. In a blender, mix together the ground almonds with the icing sugar until the mixture is very fine, then add the butter, orange blossom water, almond essence, water and salt. Pulse until you get a smooth and homogenous paste ressembling marzipan.
3. Make a slit in the flesh of each apricot and remove the stones.
4. Shape the almond paste into small balls and press one of them into the cavity of each apricot. 5. Arrange the stuffed apricots in a shallow ovenproof dish that you have previously buttered/greased and carefully pour the sugar syrup over them.
6. Cover with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
7. Plate the apricots and sprinkle with a little syrup from the baking dish.

Remarks:
Both the lavender flowers and the orange blossom water are optional.
You can also cut the apricots in half, stuff each half with almond paste and bake the halves, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.

Serving suggestions:
Serve warm or at room temperature with a cup of tea or coffee, for dessert or teatime.

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Baked Apricots 1 bis
~ Abricots Fourrés A La pâte d'Amandes ~
Recette adaptée du site "Dessert.net.au".

Pour 4 personnes.

Ingrédients Pour Le "Sirop":
75g de Sucre cristallisé
3 CS de Jus de citron
1/3 de CC de Lavande séchée
300ml d'Eau
Ingrédients Pour Les "Abricots Fourrés":
120g d'Amandes en poudre (fine)
50g de Sucre en poudre
45g de Beurre non-salé, fondu
1 1/2 CC d'Eau de fleur d'oranger
1 CC d'Essence/extrait d'amandes amères
1 1/2 CC d'Eau
1 Pincée de Sel de mer fin
800g d'Abricots frais, lavés

Méthode Pour Le "Sirop":
1. Mettre le sucre, le jus de citron, les fleurs de lavande et l'eau dans une petite casserole. Porter à ébullition, tout en mélangeant occasionnellement, jusqu'à ce que le sucre soit dissout, puis laisser frémir pendant 5-10 minutes, jusqu'à obtention d'un sirop assez liquide.
2. Préchauffer le four à 180° C.

Baked Apricots Fruits bis
Méthode Pour Les "Abricots Fourrés":
3. Dans votre mixer/blender, mettre les amandes moulues et le sucre, puis mixer jusqu'à obtention d'une poudre très fine. Ajouter le beurre, l'eau de fleur d'oranger, l'essence d'amandes amères, l'eau et le sel, puis bien mixer afin d'obtenir une pâte homogène ressemblant a du massepain.
3. Découper une fente verticale dans chaque abricot et retirer les noyaux.
4. Former de petites boules avec la pâte d'amandes et remplir les cavités avec.
5. Mettre les abricots dans un plat à gratin beurré et verser un peu de sirop sur chaque fruit.
6. Recouvrir avec une feuille d'aluminium et cuire au four pendant 25-30 minutes.
7. Arranger les abricots sur une assiette et verser le jus de cuisson par dessus.

Remarques:
Les fleurs de lavande et l'esu de fleur d'oranger sont facultatifs.
Vous pouvez aussi couper les abricots en deux, les garnir avec la pâte d'amande et les cuire pendant 25-30 minutes, sans les couvrir.

Idées de présentation:
Servir pour le dessert ou pour les quatre heures, chaud ou à température ambiante et accompagner d'une tasse de thé ou de café.

Baked Apricots 6 bis

125 comments:

  1. Délicieuse recette: l'abricot pour moi est le fruit qui symbolise le plus l'été (avec la pêche). Belle association avec l'amande et la lavande... un petit air provençal! Bises...

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  2. It is morning hear and you got me in a pool of drool! That is such a unique and brilliant idea - and with the lavender flowers - wow must be so aromatic as well!I am bookmarking this one to try!

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  3. Wow! Quel super dessert estival Rosa. J'adore, ça doit être tout bon, tout frais!

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  4. How beautiful these little babies look...I would love to try these at some point. As always, beautiful pictures...

    -Shilpa

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  5. drooling over the pics. awesome

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  6. De vrais bijoux, ca valait la peine de les attendre aussi longtemps!

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  7. Wow! Gorgeous looking dessert and those apricot pictures looks amazing. A big Wow! on the whole.

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  8. Oh wow, this is just amazing. Sometimes I see recipes that I have to instantly try and this eems like one of them. Love the shot of the bee/wasp.

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  9. I love the photo of fresh apricots!

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  10. apricots+almonds+lavender...you got the perfect word: exquisite!!!

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  11. Apricot stuffed with almond - very unique and creative.

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  12. What a great dish! Almond and apricot is such a fantastic pairing! Love your pictures too, Rosa!

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  13. I've never had baked apricots! This sounds like a wonderful recipe Rosa. I will be putting this on my to make list soon : )

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  14. Hi Rosa, This is looking absolutely delightful. A very well made post with beautiful pictures as always. Loved the new combo of ingredients and the recipe is so nicely made and presented. Its always fun to see ur appetizing recipes. Saving this recipe of urs and wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a wonderful week ahead….Thanks & Regards, Sonia !!!

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  15. hmmm, avec cette farce, c'est extra !

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  16. Comment y résister ? j'adore les abricots, mais hélas souvent vendus pas murs par ici.
    Bisous

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  17. trop beaux et bien tentant belle réalisation

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  18. Magnifique :)
    et j'adore la recette

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  19. Wow, these look gorgeous and delicious! What a great recipe. I love the sweet and sour aspect of the apricots, I've got to try these!

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  20. What a delight!!! This looks absolutely exquisite! Very original recipe.

    Thanks for sharing it :)

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  21. I agree, Rosa. Respecting the seasons is the best way to consume food and even though we have different climates here in Australia, we still don't have everything available all the time, especially when Australia hardly imports any fruit into the country. Another thing I've had to learn since moving here is that if there is a cyclone, frost, winds or anything damaging, then we will either pay a lot more for the produce (because there aren't as much available) or we won't have any. Anyway, these apricots look absolutely divine! I love the idea of filling them with almond paste!

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  22. Ce dessert me semble divin et les photos, comme toujours, sont magnifiques. Surtout celle des abricots frais sur fond noir...

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  23. Mmm beautiful! I've never tried baking with apricot.

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  24. These are very gorgeous and look so inviting. The usual spectacular pictures from you!

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  25. Exquisite dessert! I'll make this for sure. Thanks for the idea Rosa.

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  26. Yum. I love the idea of the almond paste stuffing Rosa. It goes without saying, as always, outstanding photography.
    Sam

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  27. Hum délicieuse recette! Justement je cherchais quoi faire avec mes abricots!

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  28. I like this, very different I would never of thought to make this. Lovely dessert! I always try to get local fruits and veggies, but sometimes in Florida we have to get it else where like apples and rhubarb they don't grow here! :)

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  29. Wow, these look absolutely delicious - what a great idea to add lavender flowers. I love them so much!

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  30. Stunning pictures like always!
    I will confess here, i hate summer. Cannot stand the heat. Desserts sound just perfect in this lousy weather!

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  31. Gosh Rosa, that bee, although beautiful, is too close for comfort for me, I'm so jealous about all the natural beauty around you.

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  32. Is it legal to post these on the interwebz?

    I will tell you that I've made similar almond-stuffed apricots before, and polished off the whole darn thing, all in one sitting.

    Several years have passed since that fateful day, and I've almost completely recovered from the effects of that sweet experience. So I'm a bit concerned to try it again.

    But then I think, what is life without risks? :)

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  33. The photos are lovely and the fruit dessert is amazing.
    I cant wait to enjoy stone-fruit again...

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  34. I agree with your writing about people crave with the wrong food at the wrong moment. Anyway yummy presentation!

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  35. Nature is, indeed, perfect. These are wonderful I LOVE almond paste! xo

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  36. So beautiful..these apricots look perfectly stuffed with that almond paste- Love all the pictures!

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  37. Au Liban, on mange les dattes fourrées a la pâte d'amandes, mais pas les abricots; ce que je trouve bizarre parce que les abricots se marient si bien avec la pâte d'amandes, surtout si elle est faite maison comme ici, avec un goût plus délicat que celle dans le commerce; excellent recette que je vais faire un jour lorsque je mettrais la main sur de bons abricots.

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  38. that one photo of the bee is fabulous. i love those kinds of photos.
    and almond paste is so versatile, can clearly see how well it pairs with apricots

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  39. Just gorgeous Rosa. I love how you have combined two different flavours here. Lovely!

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  40. je vais dire franchement ce que je pense : une tuerie ! je suis sûre que c'est une tuerie !!! je l'ai dit et c'est rare....je m'en occupe aujourd'hui.... bisous

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  41. I love the fact taht you are not afraid to experiment a little which encourages the rest of us less adventerous to do so.Especially when we see the lovely result;)

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  42. I encounter some difficulties posting comments today.But won't give up!! I love combinations ypou make and your pic's are so tempting to try the dish:)

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  43. What a brilliant idea to stuff the apricots! Mmm sounds absolutely delicious... Love the pics too Rosa!

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  44. i always knew that apricots and almonds went together well, but this is the most unique and appetizing way to pair them that i've ever seen. lovely work, rosa!

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  45. Quel délice.Je craque complètement.
    Bisous.
    Caro

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  46. Wow the stuffing for these sounds AMAZING. I'm pretty sure I would have trouble not devouring it before actually preparing the dish!

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  47. This is right up my alley, Rosa. I adore apricots and the filling just perfect. I could eat a plateful of these gems!

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  48. Oh, wow. Apricots and almonds are such a classic combination, and yet I never thought to stuff them! How fabulous.

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  49. I agree that there's something to waiting for things to come into season. They taste even better when you've been waiting for them! These apricots sound fantastic with the almond filling.

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  50. Wow! Your photos are proof why we need to stay close to our food.

    We live in a world of convenience with very little thought to where/how our food is produced. Sad for us, as we become more disconnected.

    As always Rosa, great post.

    Happy summer to you.

    Velva

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  51. Look amazin Rosa, love the pictures, gloria

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  52. totally droolworthy stuff Rosa- am bookmarking it ;

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  53. looks wonderful. very nice photography.

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  54. This is a delicious recipe Rosa, and the photography is stunning. I love that closeup of a bee on the stalk, the clouds and all the food photos.

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  55. Very tempting baked apricots! Stuffing with almond paste is a brand new idea.

    Lucky you, you have all these beautiful and delicious fruits grown locally, we could only have them imported... and rhubarb.. never saw it in my entire life :-<

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  56. Rosa, your baked apricots are so yummy! And an excellent touch to add almonds. What a great recipe and what absolutely beautiful photos! Really beautiful photos! Great post and a great blog.

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  57. Absolument superbe, Rosa, bravo, once again! Tu es vraiment très très douée!
    Bon dimanche, une grosse bise just for you.

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  58. What a gourmet and creative sounding recipe! I love apricots and their colour in this dish is just gorgeous.

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  59. humm mes fruits préférés avec cette petite garniture au centre .. j'adore! =)
    Bise

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  60. Wow! This look so good. Great photos to boot.

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  61. This is stunning, Rosa, and so perfect! The apricots with almond is a perfect flavor combo (am doing something similar today) and the result is fabulous! Tender, sweet, nutty, juicy! You are so talented! And I so agree with every sentiment about summer's stone fruits.

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  62. I still remember the first time I experienced a tree picked apricot. I have been trying to replicate that memorable taste forever.

    I love the notion of an almond paste stuffing scented with lavender. What a complimentary "marriage."

    Thank you so much for sharing, Rosa. Stunning pics too:)

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  63. These lil flavour pops in the mouth look fab! Gonna try that almond paste - for other treats.

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  64. Oh Rosa, what an excellent idea to bake the apricots. Gosh, it has been drooling.

    I particularly like the shot of the apricots against the dark background. I like how the light hits is from on side. Love your work always.

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  65. I would have been excited to see the apricots, too! What a wonderful-looking recipe.

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  66. tes photos sont magnifiques et ces abricots doivent être délicieux!♥

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  67. Rosa, oh my gosh, these treats just look amazing. I love summer for the apricots, and you have something that looks like perfection. What a brilliant idea.

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  68. This is the BEST apricot recipe ever ~ the filling sounds amzingly delious, the recipe is so simple to follow, loved the lavender in there n the pics are stunning(as always)! I have already bookmarked it :)
    US Masala

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  69. Such a classic recipe for Monthy Mingle. Looks beautiful and delicious.

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  70. Rosa, those almond paste filled baked apricots look splendid!

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  71. Divine! I wish it was apricot season here! :D

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  72. That looks delicious and yum!

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  73. Wow, that looks delicious and so beautiful.

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  74. Jolie recette très tentante avec ces fruits de saison!!

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  75. This screams summer! So so pretty...bet it tastes divine too.

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  76. I'm gonna have to make this! The lavender flower in the syrup sounds just amazing, and the almond filling sounds fantastic! I'm looking forward to trying this! :)

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  77. Ton blog est juste fabuleux je suis très content de l'avoir découvert ;)

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  78. Oh these look gorgeous! I can never resist anything almond flavoured, plus your descriptions of all the lovely summer fruits have definitely made me hungry :)

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  79. Almond paste is a staple in my very Danish family, Rosa, so these would be perfect to bring along to a party. :-) Gorgeous!!

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  80. Your creativity never seizes to amaze me. This looks like a dessert you could expect to get in a rather fancy restaurant. Beautifully done :)

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  81. Oh yum! This sounds so delicious - love the stuffing =)

    And beautiful photography, as usual!

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  82. An Arabian Nights recipe! I made something similar w/ dried apricots years ago, but they didn't have the decadence of these beauties.

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  83. Lovely picture and delicious apricots

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  84. Ta recette est sublime !!!
    Bravo.

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  85. Those beautiful bright orange apricots jump off the screen. Never would have thought to stuff them. Love the idea!

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  86. Such a gorgeous dessert. Love the great color. It looks scrumptious.

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  87. Tout pareil, j'attends les fruits d'été toujours avec beaucoup d'impatience, et quel bonheur de les retrouver en cuisine.
    Cette recette est très appétissante et raffinée, et tes photos, sublimes !

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  88. Ce sera l'occasion de manger des abricots fourrés car je crois que je n'y ai jamais goûté.

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  89. tes abricots me tentent beaucoup rosa !!!

    bises

    virginie

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  90. mmm, I honestly could almost smell these.... magnificent!

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  91. I cannot get enough apricots this time of year! I always want to bake with them or make jam, but they usually get devoured raw at our house.
    I do love almonds and apricots together and your recipe sounds delish!
    -Erin

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  92. Woooooooow!! I am drooling.... those apricots are lucky to have you to dress them in such a spectacular way!

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  93. Rosa, what a beautiful recipe...I can almost imagine how this stuffed apricot taste with the almond paste...so delicate. The pictures are gorgeous as always.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :-)

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  94. Rosa...how not surprised I am to see how you turn one of my favourite fruits into such elegant treats ;o)
    Apricots only come to us within a very tiny window in August...I guess I'll have to be patient and wait my turn. Did I mention how patient I am. LOL

    Have a memorable summer going forward.

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  95. I only have two words for this dish! Mouthwatering and gorgeous! The pics make me feel real happy inside Rosa! Well done.

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  96. Those apricots look SOOOOOOO good. Drool.

    I agree, to eat in season is the best. Then one has something to look forward to!

    I agree with Foodessa ... apricots ... such a short window of opportunity.

    What makes me mad is all our B.C. fruit seems to get shipped elsewhere while we are stuck with fruit from the States ... unless we drive over to the Okanagan to get our own fruit!

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  97. A lovely post! Your apricots look heavenly! I always love reading your posts and drooling over your fabulous photos.

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  98. This simple dessert looks gorgeous, as do your photos (as they always do)- Thanks for the morning inspiration.

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  99. Comme c'est beau! Ta recette est magnifique et bien originale. Merci de l'avoir partagé avec nous. Comme toi, j'adore les abricots, mais malheureusement, c'est un fruit qu'on voit au marché que très rarement, puisque sa saison ne dure pas trop longtemps, alors quand je le vois sur les marchés, je saute dessus! Je vais certainement essayer ta recette! Gros bisous
    N.B. wow la photo grise est tout simplement fantastique. J'aime beaucoup!

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  100. Quelle belle idée de recette ! J'essayerais bien en utilisant de la purée d'amande complète à la place de l'extrait d'amande amère + beurre. Merci :).

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  101. What a wonderful dessert! I love bakes apricots and I love your photos!
    Funny, I also have baked apricots on my blog now:) I served them with lavender panna-cotta .
    Cheers!

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  102. Almond paste! One of my fave ingredients ever. Can never get enough of its lovely texture and flavor.

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  103. Wow ! Its an amazing blog.
    One of the best blog I have ever read.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Good Work..
    Nice blog on almond paste
    .
    Keep going...

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  104. All I can say is yummmm! Those apricots look great!

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  105. a lovely treat, the stuffing is amazing. thank you for sharing!!

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  106. Someone just gifted me some lovely apricots. And I am addicted to anything almond. Definitely got to try this sweet dish.

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  107. Oh my... I can't believe I have only just seen these. Absolutely love apricots, what wonderful little treats! Spectacular photography as always, Rosa. Delicious!

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  108. Wow !What an amazing blog.
    Its one of the best blog.
    Nice blog on almond paste.
    Keep going...

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  109. i love this recipe. just bookmarked to make. and that blue plate is gorgeous!!!

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  110. This is such a good post. It makes sense to eat the right kind of food, that gets produced in that particular season.
    The stuffed apricots look divine...

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  111. Apricots and almonds are such a good flavour combo and this sounds like a great way to enjoy them!

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  112. Wow Rosa, you were right when you said your recipe was unusual on Twitter. Looks deliciosu and thanks for taking part in Monthly Mingle.

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  113. Gorgeous pictures along with a wonderful recipe post!

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  114. Rosa, aka Madame Never Enough, I agree with your method! These look delectable. Life is just better with (a lot of) almond paste.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Katy

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  115. Yummy!!!
    Good one.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Keep sharing more and more.

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  116. This is such a beautiful blog. I love the way you take photos of the food. So lovely really!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting my blog and for the kind comments. I'm glad you like my work!

      Cheers,

      Rosa

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