This year has been the year of the apricot for us. We bought them at each opportunity. Now, I realize that it is the type of fruit that goes down in flavor very quickly once it is picked, so maybe the apricots we have access to are not as fantastic as those found right in California or Washington. Still, some were spectacularly juicy and tender. In this post I am sharing not one, not two, but three recipes using not only the fruit but – are you ready for this? – their pits! Yes, and that recipe in particular will blow your mind, I promise. Maybe you won’t be able to make it this year, as the season is over, but next year start buying apricots as early as you can, and freeze the pits. Once you get 20 or so of them, you’ll be ready to make THE most amazing ice cream of your existence. I promise.
TAKE #1: APRICOT COMPOTE
I found this recipe over at Mike’s blog, and made it almost immediately. Vanilla, ginger, and apricots? No need to say anything else. I am not too fond of compotes and jams, but I am so glad I tried this recipe. You should too…
GINGER AND VANILLA APRICOT COMPOTE
(from The Iron You)
1 lb firm ripe apricots, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 to 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large skillet combine apricots, lime juice, sugar, ginger, and vanilla extract.
Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until apricots are glazed and syrupy, about 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and chill.
Serve apricot compote with yogurt or ice cream.
to print the apricot compote recipe, click here
This was absolutely delicious, not too sweet, very simple to prepare, the flavor of lime, ginger, and vanilla playing nicely with the fruit. Great recipe! By the way, if you don’t have coconut palm sugar, use brown sugar or honey. I don’t normally have breakfast, but must say that a small bowl of this compote served with yogurt and a sprinkle of cereal was a nice way to start a particular Saturday morning…. Big thank you to Mike for sharing his recipe!
TAKE #2: APRICOT-PASSION FRUIT SORBET
We make sorbets quite often during the summer. All credit must got to Phil, as he is the one who comes up with fruit combinations and plays with the right proportions to get the best flavor. This batch combined apricots and passion fruit. Refreshing, light, a perfect ending to a summer evening…
APRICOT-PASSION FRUIT SORBET
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)
1.5 lb. fresh apricots
1/2 lb. passion fruit pulp
1 cup water
3/4 cups sugar
1 ripe banana, cut in pieces
1 Tablespoon vodka (optional, but improves consistency)
Split the apricots in half, remove the pits, and cut each half into chunks. Combine the apricot and water in a saucepan and cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Place the cooked apricots to the bowl of a food processor, add the banana, then puree the mixture until completely smooth. Add the passion fruit and vodka, process briefly to combine. Taste and adjust the amount of sugar if necessary. Cover and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker.
to print the sorbet recipe, click here
The sorbet will stand on its own, but a superb way to indulge in it is by pairing it with….
TAKE #3: NOYAU ICE CREAM
Noyau (also spelled in its plural form, noyaux), the amazing, one and only ice cream made with apricot pits! Sometimes also called nougat ice cream, although it’s not the most appropriate name for it. The recipe comes from one of my favorite food blogs, Pastry Studio. Speaking of which, if you haven’t yet read my little review about Gayle’s book, please take a look here, and order your copy. She is a natural teacher when it comes to all things baking. But, anyway, her description of this ice cream, the way each summer she makes sure to prepare a batch using apricot pits carefully collected, made me crave for it. Wondering about the taste, apparently so unique. Well, this ice cream turned Phil into a compulsive collector of apricot pits. The moment he tasted the first spoonful, he told me we better never EVER run out of it. Yeap, folks. That great. So, without further ado, here it is…
NOYAU ICE CREAM
(from Pastry Studio)
20 apricot pits (see my comments)
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C milk
2 1/4 C heavy cream
4 egg yolks
Break open apricot pits with a hammer to remove the small almond-like kernels inside. You may want to use a cloth to keep the bits from flying. Crush the kernels with a mortar and pestle or chop into small pieces.
Place the sugar, milk, cream and kernels in a saucepan and heat right up to a good simmer but just before it boils. Cover and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes to an hour, tasting periodically to check for strength. It should taste of almond, but not bitter.
When you have the desired flavor, heat the milk mixture a bit and pour some of it into the yolks, whisking constantly to temper the mixture. Pour the yolks and cream back into the pan and cook slowly over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it coats the back of a spoon. Strain into a clean container and cool, stirring occasionally. Chill thoroughly.
Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze. Pour into a clean container, cover the surface of the ice cream with a piece of plastic wrap, be sure the container lid is tight and place in your freezer to firm up.
to print the noyau recipe, click here
Comments: In case I did not make it clear enough, let me state I am absolutely in love with this ice cream! Head over hills, spoons over bowls. Make it. Save those kernels, and make it. To break the pits, we found that once frozen they broke very easily with a nutcracker, so we did not have to use a hammer. Full disclosure: Phil broke them, I watched. But the pits freshly taken from the fruit resisted the nutcracker, so they were sent for time-out into the freezer for proper attitude adjustment. Here is what they will look like once removed from the fruit. You can save those at room temperature for a few days, no problem.
The smell is reminiscent of almonds, with a “je ne sais quoi” in the background. That “je ne sais quoi” will be prominent in the flavor of the ice cream… I am dreaming as I type this paragraph… magic flavor indeed!
You must dice the kernels to optimize the infusion of the cream… and after simmering to develop the flavor (I did it for 45 minutes), simply strain the pits out, and freeze the base of the ice cream… That’s all there is to it!
Gayle, thank you so much for bringing this recipe to our kitchen! It is amazing to think that at my age I would be tasting for the first time something so delicious… a wonderful gastronomic experience indeed!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this triple post on apricots. The season is of course over, but we have about 30 pits saved in the freezer to make one more batch of this ice cream soon. We will savor one spoonful at a time, to try and stretch this delicacy as long as possible in time…
Before I leave you, let me share a link about the “danger” of noyau, linked to the presence of trace amounts of cyanide in the stone fruit pit. As you can see, no need to avoid this delicacy….
ONE YEAR AGO: Up Close and Personal with Kale
TWO YEARS AGO: Black Berry Cherry Sorbet
THREE YEARS AGO: Asparagus Pesto
FOUR YEARS AGO: Chocolate and Chestnut Terrine
FIVE YEARS AGO: Under the spell of lemongrass
SIX YEARS AGO: Greens + Grapefruit + Shrimp = Great Salad!
48 thoughts on “APRICOTS, THREE WAYS”
Wow! Loving all of those apricots 🙂 and such an interesting use of the stones, never ever heard of using them before x
It was new to me too… Fascinating indeed..
LikeLiked by 1 person
All of the apricot recipes sounded great but the noyau ice cream is something special. I was going to try something similar with cherry kernels ie mahlab but plans changed.
Plans change quite a bit around here too…. but it’s important to dance with the music, always… 😉
LikeLiked by 1 person
All three of these recipes sound delicious. Using the pits in the ice cream is a surprise.
The sorbet with the ice cream was a great combination of flavors – the sorbet much lighter and fresh, and ice cream, luscious….
I go through phases where I buy apricots constantly for weeks on end…and after seeing this, I feel one of those happening again.
we still have a few apricots in the fridge, but they are not looking very happy… I wonder if I should compote them 😉
Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
Yum! I just ordered an apricot tree from Arbor Day Foundation, which will arrive in November for planting. Can’t wait to pick these beauties right off the tree! Thanks for the recipe to get me more excited about welcoming this tree.
WOW! You will have an apricot tree! I don’t think it would survive our winter…. I would love to have one, though…and a fig tree…
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh, my goodness, I do dream of having a cold hardy Chicago fig tree. I know several locals who do, but they are tons of work only to yield maybe 2 fruits if you’re very lucky in our climate. Too high maintenance. Some apricots are hardy to zone 4, though, and we are supposedly up to zone 6 now. I miss fresh figs something fierce, though! The main thing I miss from living in California, LOL!
OH, it makes me a bit sad….. when we lived in Oklahoma we planted two beautiful fig trees. FIrst year, almost no fruit. Second year would be THE year. Except….. for the huge ice storm that hit our state and the trees were almost killed – they barely stayed alive the following year, and then….. then we moved.
I hope the folks who bought our home appreciate what we left behind – in particular a huge lavender bush that survived not only the ice storm but me. And Phil. Let’s say we are the opposite of green thumb folks. By far…. 😉
LikeLiked by 1 person
LOL, well at least you can cook! 🙂
Indeed! I can rely on the good work of farmers…. because I can kill mint! HA!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I am suddenly craving ice cream despite the fact it is almost cold today. Having a little first hand knowledge though, I have no doubt these are every bit of delicious! Your breakfast with the compote has me utterly drooling though. I could go for that right now! Maybe even with a side of pancakes! 😉
COme on over for an encore! 😉
I love apricots! As a kid, you could only get apricots for a short time each year. And they were super expensive. They were best served fresh. Thanksf for the memories!
GLad the post brought you nice memories… food seems to do that quite often…
LikeLiked by 1 person
Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.
I love apricots. Uncooked they are rather bland but once you heat them the flavor just comes to life. I am super intrigued by the ice cream and can’t wait to give it a try. 🙂
I hope you try it…. now I”m thinking of grilled apricots….. hummmm…..
LikeLiked by 1 person
Reblogged this on TLF | Tho Loves Food and commented:
My must-reblog note, for most favorite fruit!
Thanks for the re-blog! 😉
LikeLiked by 1 person
Sally, I had always thought that apricot pits were not edible. I looked it up and came across this. I am not a scientist, like you, so I may be missing something or I looked up the wrong thing.
Hi Karen… I included a link on the last paragraph of the post to ease fears of the cyanide poisoning. First, it’s all a matter of dose, and this ice cream recipe uses 20 pits in the whole batch. Even if you ingested the whole batch of ice cream it would not kill you, probably not even harm you, well you would certainly have negative effects from the massive amount of fat and sugar.. 😉 There has been no reports of toxicity associated with cyanide from ingestion of noyau ice cream.
I found this additional link after reading your comment – http://bravetart.com/blog/ThePits…. she states that indeed cooking the seeds eliminates toxicity, but gives no reference for it, so I cannot tell for sure. But, I would not worry about making and enjoying this ice cream – in fact, if I had any doubts about it I would not post the recipe 😉
Thanks Sally for the update. I have found in the past that facts we were taught many years ago in school, are no longer true, as in this case. Always good to keep up with the latest!
Almonds come in two varieties, sweet and bitter, and it is only the latter that are highly poisonous when raw. Processed bitter almonds can safely be eaten as all the hydrogen cyanide is leached out during the heating process. In the United States it is illegal to sell bitter almonds that are unrefined.
The best data I could find on apricot pits is this:
Chemical Composition of Bitter and Sweet Apricot Kernels
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 02/1995; 43(2). DOI: 10.1021/jf00050a018
“Amygdalin content was very high (5.5 g/100 g) in bitter cultivars and was not detected in the sweet variety. ”
“Apricot kernels are the seeds found inside the pits (stones) of fresh apricots. There are two types of apricot kernels, bitter and sweet. Bitter apricot kernels naturally contain a compound called amygdalin, which has the potential to release cyanide when ingested by humans. Small amounts of cyanide are detoxified by the human body but high doses can be lethal. Alternatively, sweet apricot kernels and the fruit (flesh) of apricots do not pose a risk of adverse health effects from cyanide exposure because they contain lower levels of amygdalin.”. “Health Canada advises adults of the general population who do eat bitter apricot kernels as flavouring to consume no more than three bitter apricot kernels per day, ground and mixed with other foods.”
Thanks so much, Gary! I thought about trying to look for more solid data, but I swear this week has been tough and next week won’t be much easier with classes starting…. oh, well – glad you could come to the rescue, very helpful as usual!!!!
What an interesting trio! Love apricots just as they are but realize I have not made a compote for ages and I like your recipe with the ginger. Also thought apricot pits were poisonous and am glad to have learnt a lesson 🙂 ! The three fruits + the vodka obviously also appeals . . . . ice cream I am afraid is not on the menus in this house 🙂 !! Thanks for the post with our spring just around the corner!!
“Our spring just around the corner”…… (sorry I need to move away from the computer to start bawling….)
Believe me Sally, you would not necessarily be thrilled by 40C + temps possible 🙂 !!
Oh, yeah… bring it, baby.. bring it… I can take it! 😉
All three recipes look amazing! So much inspiration!
Glad you enjoyed the triple feature…. thanks for stopping by!
I couldn’t even tell you the last time that I had apricots- it certainly hasn’t been in my house in years. Love the flavor, but almost never think about picking them up.
I went through years without even noticing them at the store – then all of a sudden I got this urge to consume them mesmerized by their beauty and flavor…
Love the compote and sorbet! I’ve never heard of using the pits! How fascinating!!!
Fascinating indeed…. I still have to make another batch, life has been a tad too busy… (sigh)
I can’t wait to save some apricot pits. The ice cream sounds incredible! I can almost taste it from your description.
I do hope you make it, Lisa – I have the feeling both you and your husband will love it!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the compote that much my friend. And you’re 100% right, compote + yogurt = awesome breakfast!
It was awesome indeed! Now I need to jump on the cauli-sagna! 😉
Pingback: APRICOTS, THREE WAYS « Marcey's Table