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    Saffron-Poached Apricots with Baked Custard

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    Saffron-Poached Apricots with Baked Custard

    • Vegetarian
    • Gluten Free
    • Preparation time: 20 minutes plus standing
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 60 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 100g whole blanched almonds
    • 3 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
    • 175g caster sugar
    • 284ml tub essential Waitrose Double Cream
    • ½ tsp saffron strands (about a third of a sachet)
    • 400g fresh apricots,stoned and quartered

    Method

    1. Blend the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Turn into a bowl, pour over 300ml boiling water and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and press the pulp with the back of a spoon, discarding the pulp and reserving all the liquid.
    2. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Put the eggs, yolks and 75g of the sugar in a bowl and whisk lightly to mix. Heat the cream and the reserved almond liquid in a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Pour over the egg mixture, whisking well. Strain through a sieve into a jug.
    3. Pour into 6 x 125ml shallow ovenproof dishes or ramekin dishes and place in a roasting tin. Pour a 1.5cm depth of very hot water into the tin. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the custard is very lightly set. (The centres of the custards should wobble very lightly if you shake the dishes.) Leave to cool.
    4. Heat the remaining sugar in a saucepan with 200ml water until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the saffron, then the apricots. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat. Cook very gently for 1-2 minutes until the apricots are tender but retaining their shape. Drain the apricots with a slotted spoon and bring the syrup to the boil. Boil until syrupy and reduced by about half. Leave to cool.
    5. Peel the apricots and discard the skins, then arrange over the cooled custards and pour over a little saffron syrup to serve. Any remaining apricots and syrup can be served separately.

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    Cook's tips

    To transport the dessert, place the dishes containing the custard in a rigid container. Put the apricots and syrup in a separate container, ready for spooning over the custards.

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