With the exception of some really special apricots (Blenheims come to mind) we often feel this is a fruit that needs a little heat to draw out its most luscious flavor. Poaching is one way to accomplish this without turning on the oven. Here, we've simmered apricot halves in an aromatic syrup of honey, vanilla, and cardamom to complement their sweet perfume. Served with a dollop of thick yogurt and a sprinkle of pistachios, they make a sweet, tangy, and deliciously healthy seasonal dessert.
Poached Apricots with Vanilla and Cardamom
1/4 cup honey
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 cup water
4 apricots, halved lengthwise and pitted
Coarsely chopped pistachios
Combine honey, vanilla pod and seeds, cardamom pods, and water in a medium saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the honey dissolves.
Add the apricots and simmer, turning once, until they are just tender but not falling apart, about 2-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apricots to a dish. Spoon a little of the syrup on top.
Boil the remaining syrup over high heat until reduced by about half. Strain out the pods and seeds.
To serve, drizzle the thickened syrup on top of the apricots, add a dollop of yogurt, and sprinkle with pistachios.
(Image: Emily Ho)