Our local greengrocer has had boxes of local Ohio apricots this month, and while they are expensive, they are so worth it. They have a delicately tangy flavor, with sweet juicy flesh and that soft skin only found on an apricot. True apricots with good flavor and texture are hard to find; they're so delicate that they don't ship well at all. We'd already eaten one box out of hand, but then we were back looking for dessert inspiration. We were making a casual lunch and didn't have much time for dessert. We were thinking about just serving another box of apricots, sliced for nicer presentation, when we saw these walnuts. Actually, these walnuts have been tempting us for a while now, and this gave us an excuse to make the splurge. And oh boy - they were worth it! They are candied with butter, brown sugar, and rosemary, with just a hint of spicy cayenne.
So for dessert we crumbled these sweet, fragrant, spicy walnuts over the fresh apricots and drizzled a little cream over them all. It was luscious. It was also a good reminder of how easy dessert can be in the summer. We're thinking of other variations on this theme now. Perhaps roasted figs with walnuts and cream, later in the fall? Or peaches and smoked almonds? Baked apples and pecans? (Oh, and yes, we're going to try to duplicate that walnut recipe as soon as we can! So yummy.) Easy Summer Dessert: Homemade Pudding Cup Bar (Images: Faith Hopler)