A simple poaching syrup for use with many different fruits. The cooking time depends on the firmness of the fruit.
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 kg ripe apricots
2 tbsp orange blossom water
Thick yoghurt to serve
Place sugar and water in a wide-based pan and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Add vanilla pod and seeds, star anise and cinnamon.
Peel two thick strips of skin each from the orange and lemon with a vegetable peeler.
Reserve orange and lemon for another use. Add citrus strips to the poaching liquid and cook gently for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours.
Halve apricots and add to the pan. Reduce heat to low and cook gently for five minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
To serve: Add orange blossom water. Serve at room temperature or chilled with a dollop of yoghurt.