Apricots are one of those fruits that I always think will be delicious raw – and I’m always disappointed.
Cook them, though, and they’re delectable. Their flavour really intensifies.
I was lucky enough to grab the last punnet of unusually cheap apricots from my local shop. There weren’t enough to make a conserve, barely enough for a tart.
And the weather has been so hot I didn’t want to make a heavy dessert in spite of an enticing suggestion for an apricot tarte tatin from a friend.
So I decided to simply bake them with a sprinkling of caramelised chopped hazelnuts and almonds, sold online by French Click as praline.
Unlike most homemade praline, it’s quite finely chopped and is one of my secret ingredients for adding to crumble toppings. So now you know.
If you want to make your own praline, here's a recipe ...
50g/2 oz caster sugar
50g/2 oz of toasted hazelnuts or almonds or a mix of the two, chopped
2 tablespoons of water
Put sugar and water in a pan over a medium heat and heat, stirring, until the sugar has melted.
Now cook without stirring until golden brown. Add the chopped nuts and stir well to coat. Pour onto a nonstick baking sheet and leave to cool completely.
Once cooled and set, smash into pieces with a rolling pin.
You need a fine mix for this recipe so put the praline into a strong plastic bag and bash it some more.
Roasted Apricots With a Praline Topping
To paraphrase Gregg Wallace, cooking doesn’t come easier than this.
Preheat oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.
Halve and stone your apricots.
Fill the hole in each half with some praline.
Blob a little dark muscovado sugar onto each fruit.
Dot with butter.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the apricots are cooked but hold their shape.
Serve warm with creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with a little more praline.