I have recently been experimenting with vanilla cakes, which are great paired with fruit combinations to make light summer desserts. I have a great recipe to blog very soon!
With dark, chocolatey cakes, date paste is a great way to add sweetness, but the flavour and colour won’t work quite so well with a vanilla cake. I have found that applesauce can work nicely, but for me apricot purée is a winner due to its association with warmer weather and its delicate flavour.
You can make apricot puree with fresh or frozen apricots; buy fresh in the summer and frozen the rest of the year for high-quality, affordable apricots. Ripe apricots will give a bit when you squeeze them. Avoid apricots that feel hard as their flesh will be crunchy instead of soft and juicy.
There really is nothing complicated about making it, but as a reference point, here are the basics!
Apricots – 1 apricot yields approx. 4oz of purée.
- Rinse the apricots to clean the skin.
- Slice the apricot in half lengthways, working your way around the pit.
- Twist and pull the apricot halves apart.
- Use a spoon or the blade of a sharp knife to remove the pit.
- Slice each half into small chunks.
- In enough water to cover the fruit, gently simmer the apricot chunks for 5 minutes to soften them. Drain off the water.
- Use a hand blender to blitz the fruit until smooth. Add water to thin the consistency of required.
- Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within 3 days of making.