This is the thing about apricots. For an embarrassingly long time, I did not know that they were actually fruit. Like, real, live fruit that you can eat. I thought that they were just a flavor. Apricot baby food (which was my favorite even after I was old enough to not eat baby food, I’m willing to admit), and apricot jam, and dried apricots (which, no, I had not realized are dried from the actual fruit). I never thought that all of these things came from something fresh. I’m clearly a product of the processed food revolution.
But stop judging me because there is a reason why this happened! Fresh apricots, with their unbeliveably short season (blink and you miss them – seriously), are, more often than not, quite sour, and likely without a firm texture that you expect from summer stone fruit. But cook them and what you get is this sweet, soft, honey-like, melt-in-your-mouth flavor that is unmatched. Grill them with a dollop of creme fraiche and a drizzle of honey, and you have a delicious snack. Roasted topped with vanilla ice cream and you have the best dessert.
Or make this crisp. Chopped apricots with just a sprinkling of sugar, topped with a nutty, oatmealy crisp topping. Top with plain Greek yogurt, and you have every meal of every day until you get the next batch of apricots. Go and discover the freshness of apricots! And then cook them to find their true calling.
Apricot Crisp (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
6-7 apricots, pits removed and cut into quarters
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon flour
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons, 2 ounces) butter, melted
scant 1/2 cup light brown sugar tablespoons turbinado
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tablespoons mix of chopped walnuts and pecans
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare fruit by placing in an 8×8 square baking dish, or 9 inch round pan. In the dish, stir in sugar, flour and pinch of nutmeg, until everything is well-distribuited.
For the topping, melt butter and stir in sugar, then oats, then flour, salt and nuts until large clumps form. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely and then place in refrigerator (preferably overnight). This will give the crisp a chance to blend all of the flavors and become insanely delicious. Serve with plain Greek yogurt.