When I was young, each summer my mum would preserve box after box of peaches and apricots. I remember shelves lined up goldenly glowing jars of fruit ready to be turned into wintertime cobblers and sponges for dessert. I guess becoming a preserver of fruits was pretty much inevitable for me.
Apricots are among the easiest fruits to preserve as you don’t need to peel them – just cut them in half, remove the stone, and poach in sugar syrup. There are a few more steps involved, but explaining those can wait until summer.
I made up a rule that the preserved summer fruits can’t be opened until it’s actually winter. I spend April and May looking wistfully at the apricots willing myself not to open them. Then I forget about them completely until about August, when suddenly I remember – the apricots! Tonight, the apricots were remembered and turned into a clafoutis. Clafoutis is one of my favourite things to eat. Eggy and custardy, with crispy edges and tart fruit, clafoutis is a stunning dessert, and leftovers make an even better breakfast.
Adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe
preserved or fresh apricots 6-8
butter for greasing the dish
sugar 1 tablespoon
plain or vanilla sugar 40g
free range eggs 2
vanilla paste 1/2 teaspoon
plain or gluten-free flour 90g, sifted
butter 30g, melted
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 180˚C and lightly butter a baking dish that can hold around 750ml of liquid. Dust the greased dish with sugar and arrange the apricots inside. Put the vanilla sugar in a bowl and whisk in the eggs, followed by the vanilla paste and milk. Sift the flour into the eggs and gently combine, being careful not to over mix. Gently stir the melted butter into the mixture and pour over the apricots. Leave to rest for 15 minutes before baking for 35-40 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and eat it all up.