Looking for a light dessert recipe that’s fresh, elegant, sophisticated and easy to make? Look no further, you found it right here!
Whether you are wanting to impress your guests or please your friends and family members, these Poached Apricots with their Spiced White Tea and Honey Glaze are sure to fit the bill. Served over a nice bowl of cold vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, they are the perfect ending to any meal, especially on a hot summer day.
And if you should be lucky enough as to have leftovers, they are also excellent in the morning as part of breakfast, topped with a little bit of crème fraîche or plain yogurt, or even sprinkled with a little bit of goat cheese, if you’re a fan…
If you don’t do dairy at all, however, know that they are also fantastic on their own.
To make them, first, we need us some tea.
Place 4 white tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water and let them seep for 5 minutes.
While that’s happening, slice the apricots in half, remove their pits and lay them cut side down in a saute pan, in a single layer.
About those apricots: you want to pick beautiful, large and plump fruits that are ripe, but not overly so. If you pick some that are too ripe, they’ll have a hard time holding their shape after they have been poached. On the flip side, if you go with apricots that are under-ripe, you’ll have a hard time splitting them in half and mostly, convincing them to let go of their pit. So make sure you choose fruits that are perfectly ripe but still firm. You may want to buy a few extras, too, just in case.
Next, split a fresh vanilla bean in half and scrape its seeds with the back of a paring knife. Place the bean and seeds over the apricots, along with a whole cinnamon stick, one star anise and a few sprigs of fresh thyme; then pour in the honey.
As soon as your tea is done seeping, remove the bags and squeeze them dry, then mix in vinegar, cardamom, white pepper, salt and chili pepper flakes; pour that fragrant liquid all over the apricots.
Place the pan over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Let the apricots poach in the simmering tea for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the fruits start to soften and their peel begins to come loose and sort of curl a little bit. Be careful not to overcook the apricots, as you wouldn’t want them to turn to mush on you; make sure you keep a good eye on them!
When the apricots are cooked, delicately remove them to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Take the cinnamon stick and star anise out of the pan and discard them. You *could* leave them in if you wanted to, but you may find that your sauce will taste too strong if you do. And you’d end up losing practically all of your thyme and vanilla notes, which would be a shame!
So really, trust me on this one: these two have done their job already. Fish them out.
Crank the heat up under that pan to medium-high again and let the tea mixture reduce until you have approximately 1/4 cup left, or until your “glaze” gets real thick and syrupy.
Drizzle that delicious Spiced White Tea Syrup over the reserved apricots and serve. Note that these are also delicious at room temperature or even chilled, so you could very well make them ahead of time if you wanted to.
Just you look at that picture… Can you see all the pretty little black specks of vanilla? Now imagine that against the pure whiteness of ice cream, crème fraîche, or plain yogurt.
How incredibly elegant, wouldn’t you say?
- 8 ripe but firm apricots
- 2 cups boiling water
- 4 pouches white tea
- ¼ cup raw honey, melted
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 star anise
- 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half, seeds scraped
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 pinch ground cardamom
- 1 pinch ground white pepper
- 1 pinch Himalayan salt
- 1 pinch chili pepper flakes
- Place the 4 bags of white tea in 2 cups of boiling water and let the tea seep for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice the apricots in half, remove their pits and lay them cut side down in a saute pan, in a single layer.
- Put the cinnamon stick, star anise, vanilla bean and seeds and fresh thyme over the apricots, then pour in the honey.
- When the tea is done seeping, remove the tea bags and mix in vinegar, cardamom, white pepper, salt and chili pepper flakes; pour that over the apricots.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the apricots poach in the simmering tea for 3 to 5 minutes, until the fruits start to soften and their peel begins to come loose.
- Delicately remove the apricots to a plate with a slotted spoon. Take the cinnamon stick and star anise out of the pan and discard them.
- Increase the heat under the pan to medium-high and let the tea mixture reduce to approximately ¼ cup, or until it gets real thick and syrupy.
- Drizzle the syrup over the reserved apricots and serve.