Inside Out (Australia)
vanilla cardamom apricots with pistachio praline
I’m obsessed with slow-cooked apricots, and love their sweet, soft nature and residual tang. Perhaps it’s a hangover from my childhood – my grandmother made the ultimate apricot pie. I would do anything for just one more piece of it made by her loving hands. The toffee crunch of the praline is a great contrast to the soft apricots, and the caramel toffee is a lovely friend to the warming spices in this dessert.
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste 6 green cardamom pods,
12 apricots, halved
200g caster (superfine) sugar 350ml sticky white dessert wine
PISTACHIO PRALINE 200g caster (superfine) sugar 1 tbsp ground cardamom
80g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
Labne or mascarpone
Dried rose petals, to garnish
1 Set the slow cooker to low and add all the ingredients for the apricots. Give it a gentle stir, cover with the lid and cook for 4 hours.
2 Remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes to allow the liquid to reduce slightly. Allow to cool completely in the bowl.
3 To make the pistachio praline, bring the caster sugar and 100ml water to the boil in a small saucepan over a medium—high heat. Brush down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to remove any stray sugar.
4 Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, until it becomes a lovely caramel colour. Stir through the cardamom and pistachio nuts (be careful as the mixture will spit).
5 Pour onto a sheet of baking paper and set aside to cool for about 10—20 minutes. Break into shards and set aside.
6 When ready to serve, smear a plate with a generous amount of labne or mascarpone. Gently scoop out the apricots using a slotted spoon (being careful as they will be very soft) and place on top.
7 Spoon over a few tablespoons of the poaching liquid, then top with the pistachio praline and serve.