Baked apricots with rosemary, orange and vanilla

Rescue woolly apricots with this recipe.
Rescue woolly apricots with this recipe. Photo: William Meppem
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Gluten-free

Apricots are such a delightful fruit, beautiful at this time of year, the perfect end to a barbecue. But they are also often disappointingly woolly or too firm and sour. Redeem them, if you've been unlucky, by baking in a hot oven. The heat restores their creamy, floral and fruity characteristics, accentuated here by the addition of the rosemary, orange and vanilla. Served warm or cold with the yoghurt cream, they're delicious for dessert, but light enough for breakfast, too.

Ingredients

10 apricots, washed and dried

3 large sprigs rosemary

½ vanilla pod (reserve the other half for the serving cream)

peel of 1 orange

130ml orange juice (from roughly 2 oranges)

3 tbsp runny honey

20g flaked almonds, toasted

For the yoghurt honey cream

100g Greek yoghurt

100ml heavy cream

seeds from ½ vanilla pod

1 tbsp runny honey

1 tbsp icing sugar

Method

1. Preheat oven to 215C (195C fan-forced). Cut the apricots in half (leave the pit in – it looks nice and helps to keep the fruit from collapsing completely) and arrange, cut-side up on a baking dish large enough to accommodate them in one layer. Tuck the rosemary sprigs, ½ vanilla pod and the orange peel in and around the apricots, then pour the orange juice all over to moisten the apricots.

2. Drizzle honey all over and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, basting and gently shaking baking dish from time to time to make sure the fruit doesn't burn. The apricots are done when they are soft but have not collapsed completely.

3. To make the yoghurt honey cream, combine all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip until soft waves form. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

4. Transfer the apricots onto serving plates and drizzle over the sticky juices. Dollop a large spoonful of the yoghurt honey cream on the side and scatter the toasted almonds on top.