SERVES 4 TO 6
Fresh apricots simmered in dry white wine was my choice for a refreshing dessert at Osteria di Rubbiara. Select apricots that feel heavy, yield gently to the touch, and have no brown spots. Once the apricots are cooked, they can be used in a variety of ways, including serving them as is, or as a sauce over ice cream or lemon sherbet, or over a plain cake.
Fresh basil complements the taste of the apricots. They also make a great hostess gift when spooned into a decorative jar and covered with wine syrup.
1 1/4 pounds fresh apricots, washed, stemmed, cut in half, and pitted
2 cups dry white wine, such as chardonnay
1/2 cup sugar
One 5-inch piece vanilla bean
2 or 3 sprigs of fresh basil leaves
Heat the wine in a 10 x 2-inch deep sauté pan. Stir in the sugar and cook gently until the sugar dissolves. Add the vanilla bean and the apricots cut-side down in a single layer in the pan. Lower the heat and simmer the apricots for about 4 minutes. Do not overcook them or they will turn mushy and not hold their shape.
With a slotted spoon remove the apricots to a serving bowl. Continue cooking the wine for about 10 minutes, or until it is slightly syrupy. Remove the vanilla bean and pour the syrup over the apricots. Add the basil leaves. Let the apricots cool to room temperature before serving.
Note: The apricots can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for a week.
Did you know that cutting a whole apricot along the side where there in an indentation line and then twisting the fruit will result in two perfect halves?
This recipe is from BRINGING ITALY HOME by Mary Ann Esposito.
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