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