Who can resist the first velvet-skinned apricots of summer?
Like many fruits, their fragrant, sweet flesh is transformed by cooking into an
intense tasting sweet sour frothy mess. Such intense tastes can be softened by
the creamy sweet tastes of custard, yoghurt or cream to create silken ice
creams and airy mousses.
I’ve chosen the fresh light notes of natural Greek yoghurt
here to create a delicate mousse. I’ve deepened the overall flavour with
vanilla, but you could transform it into a more floral dish by adding distilled
rose water, fresh elderflowers or elderflower liqueur instead. Serve chilled either in a small bowl or divide
between 4 x 250m/9fl oz soufflé dishes.
450g/1lb apricots, quartered and stoned
1 split vanilla pod
115g/4 oz caster (or granulated) sugar
12g/scant ½ oz leaf gelatine
140ml/ ¼ pint full fat natural Greek yoghurt
2 medium egg whites
1 Put the
quartered and stoned apricots into a non-corrosive pan with the sugar and a
vanilla pod that you’ve partially sliced lengthways to release its seeds. Add 3 tablespoons water, cover and set over a
medium low heat. As soon as the sugar
melts and the mixture starts to bubble, stir, reduce the heat to low and cook
covered for 10-15 minutes or until the apricots have collapsed into a shapeless
soft mess. Remove the vanilla pod – it can be washed, dried and re-used.
2 Shortly before
the apricots are ready, place the leaf gelatine in a bowl, cover with cold
water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain off the water and stir the gelatine into
the hot apricots until it has dissolved.
Puree the mixture. If your apricots have tough skins, you may need to
sieve the mixture, but otherwise, just tip into a bowl. Once tepid, cover and place the bowl in the
3 You will need
to keep an eye on it. Once the puree starts begins to hold a trail, place the
Greek yoghurt in a large mixing bowl.
Using a balloon whisk, whisk the yoghurt until it is smooth, then very
gradually whisk in the apricot puree so that it forms a smooth puree. Return to the fridge.
4 Place the egg whites in a clean dry mixing
bowl. As soon as the apricot mixture begins to form a soft set – enough to hold
the whisked egg whites - whisk the egg whites into soft peaks and using a large
flat metal spoon, gently fold them into the apricot puree. Immediately transfer
the mixture to your chosen bowl or bowls and return to the fridge until the