Mind Caviar
"Cooking may be as much a means of self-expression as any of the arts."

~ Fannie Farmer (1896)

Mind Caviar Issue 13, 2004-2005

A Moroccan Dessert
by Aldonza the Diva

Aldonza, The Diva of Mind Caviar, wears many hats. Usually our resident comedienne who wows us with her strange finds and witty commentary on all things to find while Internet Shopping, she has decided to don her chef's toque and wow us instead with exotic cuisine. After living in Morocco for two years, she is sharing with us her favorite dishes. Click here for her tagine recipe. Below is the method to make a sweet Mediterranean treat.

mind caviar

Sticky Apricots Stuffed with Cream

(Serves Four to Six)

Dried, pitted Turkish apricots are best for this dessert, and you may find them at a specialty store or a health food store. When cooked, the apricots plump so you can see the seam where the pit was removed. This becomes the pocket where you will place your cream stuffing. In Turkey, a thick, clotted cream made from water buffalo's milk (kaymak) is the most common stuffing ingredient. Italian mascarpone cheese, creme fraiche, or even cream cheese may be substituted.

1/2 lb whole dried Turkish apricots or dried apricot halves

1 sugar

1/2 cup honey

2 cups water

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup kaymak or other cream substitute (if you are using cream cheese, soften to room temperature and whip with beaters, adding a little water until mixture is fluffy.)

1/2 cup shelled and finely chopped pistachio nuts

Place the apricots in a bowl, add water to cover and let stand overnight to plump. Drain.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, honey and water. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer about ten minutes until the mixture thickens. Add the apricots and cook about 25 minutes, until the fruits become tender. Stir in the lemon juice and simmer another minute.

Using a slotted spoon, place apricots on a baking sheet, a large plate, or a clean countertop for working. Reserve apricot syrup in the pot, allowing it to cool and thicken. If the syrup won't get thick, cook it a little longer over medium heat until it is reduced.

If you are using apricots other than Turkish, carefully cut each apricot along the seam to create a little pocket. Be careful not to cut completely through. A small, sharp knife works best. Then with a small spoon, stuff your cream filling into each pocket. If you're using apricot halves, spoon the kaymak or other cream onto the centers of half of them. Top with the remaining apricot halves.

Arrange the stuffed apricots on a festive, pottery serving platter. Spoon the thickened syrup over the apricots, then refrigerate until the syrup is set, about 30 minutes to an hour. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle generously with the pistachios. This dish is traditionally served at room temperature, but may be served cold. Eat with your fingers for a sticky, sensual treat!

A Less Sweet Alternative
For those who like their dessert less sweet, simply slice or quarter and seed some juicy oranges, and sprinkle the sections with cinnamon alone or cinnamon sugar. This and a few dried dates dates are perfect "feed-me-with-your-lucious-fingers" sweets.

Aldonza's Fabulous Dinner to go with your exotic dessert.

Copyright © 2004 Aldonza. All rights reserved. Do not post. Recipe may be copied for personal use only.

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