Apricot sorbet

P1080839Yesterday I inadvertently found myself with an oversupply of apricots after my in-laws surprised me by bringing over several kilos of them! To think, I had just gone to market and bought some! Anyway, these delicious stone fruits lend themselves to all sorts of wonderful recipes such as cakes, tarts and conserves. I was really tempted to make a clafloutis with them. This week, however,  is turning out to be a real scorcher here in Turin.  I was therefore really reluctant to turn on the oven or slave away at the stovetop. I wanted something quick that wouldn’t make me break into a sweat.

I flipped through my Thermomix recipe book and I came across several recipes for sorbets. After going through the instructions and researching sorbet recipes with apricots on the Internet, I decided that this would be the best way to consume my excess apricots.  I also have to admit that despite being spoiled for choice in regards to gelaterie in Turin, I get a feeling of great satisfaction when I make my own!

Here is how I made my sorbetto all’albicocca or apricot sorbet:

Ingredients (for 4):

  • 300 g water
  • 250 g pitted apricots
  • 200 g sugar
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon

Method:

  1. Allow water and sugar to simmer in Thermomix until sugar dissolves. (2 min/ 50°/ speed 3)
  2. Transfer sugar and water mixture to another bowl and set aside until it cools down completely.
  3. Add lemon juice and apricots to Thermomix and mix until apricots are thoroughly pureed. (20 sec/ speed 9)
  4. Add sugar and water to mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. (3 sec/speed 3)
  5. Pour apricot mixture into a wide and shallow dish and freeze for at least 12 hours.
  6. Remove dish from freezer and carefully cut mixture into cubes.
  7. Place frozen cubes in Thermomix mixing bowl and blend. (20 sec/speed 9 then 30 sec/speed 6)
  8. Serve immediately in ice-cream bowls.

Some apricot-related trivia:

  • Apricots are a drupe and are closely related to almonds, cherries, plums and peaches.
  • The botanical name for the apricot is Prunus armeniaca. Its name derives from ancient Armenia where it has a long history of cultivation. Even though apricots appear to be native to China, for a long time in Europe,  Armenia was considered to be their place of origin after the Greek conqueror Alexander the Great came across them there for the first time.
  • Apricot trees were first introduced to the Italian peninsula in the 1st century BC by the Roman General Lucullus.
  • In his encyclopedia from the 1st century BC, Naturalis Historia, the Roman author Pliny the Elder mistook the fruits for a variety of early-ripening peaches and called them praecocia (literally, “early-ripeners”) . This term was assimilated first into Byzantine Greek as berikokkia and then into Arabic as al-barquq. The Arabs were instrumental in spreading and consolidating apricot cultivation in southern Europe. The Italian  word albicocca, Spanish albaricoque, English apricot and French abricot all derive from al-barquq.

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