A great side benefit of our short lived blueberry picking adventure was stopping at all the farm stands for amazing produce on our way back. The farm that had the blueberries also had large apricot orchards, and they were selling “apricot seconds” for half price. There was nothing wrong with the fruit, it simply didn’t look perfect. Since I was planning on cooking with them and just eating them ourselves looks were unimportant so I pounced on the great deal, buying four pounds of the delicious fruit.
Some of the apricots are currently sitting in jars of vodka waiting to become apricot liqueur (stay tuned for more on that in a few more weeks). Others we just ate on the way home. Since I am currently having a love affair with my ice cream maker I decided to turn some more into apricot sorbet. Fresh apricots have a very subtle flavor which I love, but for this sorbet I decided to intensify the flavors by roasting the apricots with a bit of honey first.
The results were outstanding! The sorbet has an intense flavor with balanced sweetness and tartness. It is absolutely delicious, and a small scoop is plenty satisfying because of the intensity of flavor. We liked it so much that I immediately roasted the rest of the apricots and froze them to be able to make this sorbet in the winter when the currently abundance of fresh fruit is only a distant memory. The roasting takes a while, but it is mostly unattended so it isn’t too labor intensive if you are already in the kitchen.
Roasted Apricot Sorbet (the roasted apricot recipe comes from the LA Times)
12 small to medium apricots, halved and pitted
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons margarine
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar.
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon amaretto liqueur
Preheat oven to 375. Place apricots cut side up in a 10 inch skillet so they fit close together. Drizzle the honey over the apricots. Place a small bit of margarine in each apricot cavity (where the pit was). Sprinkle the apricots with the brown sugar and place in the oven.
After 15 minutes raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Baste the apricots with the pan juices then return to the oven. Continue basting every 10 minutes until the apricots begin to caramelize and the juice is reduced to a saucy consistency, about 45 minutes total.
Remove from the oven and let cool. While the apricots are cooling combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and cool.
In a blender combine the roasted apricots, sugar syrup and amaretto. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Cool completely in the refrigerator and then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions.
Remove from the ice cream maker and place in a freezer container in the freezer for at least several hours to firm up. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving to give the sorbet time to soften.