I love apricots, and I regret very much that they are a bit hard to find and have such a brief season. When I get my hands on them I dry a bunch, and can some, and gorge on them fresh. And if there are still a few more, then I might make something fancy like this. Actually, this was so very, very good that I’m going to have to move it up the list.
4 to 6 servings
30 minutes prep time
3 hours to overnight to set
Cook & Purée the Apricots:
500 grams (1 generous pound; 12 medium to 18 small) fresh apricots
1 cup water
the finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons rum
1 teaspoon arrowroot
Wash the apricots, split them in half and remove the pit, and put the halves in a pot with the water, lemon zest, rum and arrowroot. Mix in the arrowroot to dissolve it.
Bring up to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir frequently. When the apricots are falling apart, which should take 10 to 15 minutes, remove from the heat and let cool for just a few minutes. Run the mixture through a food processor or blender until very smoothly combined.
Finish the Panna Cotta:
the juice of 1 small lemon (1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon powdered gelatine
1 cup hot apricot purée
1 1/2 cups light cream or rich yogurt, or combination
While the apricots are cooking, squeeze the lemon juice and mix in the almond extract. Sprinkle the powdered gelatine over it and let it soak.
When the apricots are puréed, measure out one cup and mix it into the lemon juice and gelatine until the gelatine is completely dissolved – this is why the apricot purée must still be hot. If it is not you should re-heat it until it is steaming hot.
Let the mixture cool for 10 or 15 minutes, then mix in the cream or yogurt. Pour the mixture into a lightly oiled mould. Refrigerate until set, probably 3 hours at least. It’s best to make this a day in advance.
Unmould the panna cotta onto a serving plate. The remainder of the puréed apricots should be passed with it as a sauce.
Last year at this time I made Devillish Egg & Broccoli Salad.