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    Vanilla-Poached Apricots with a Lemon Balm Cream

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    Vanilla-Poached Apricots with a Lemon Balm Cream

    Lemon balm is not widely sold despite the fact that it grows as rampantly as mint. If unobtainable, use a tablespoon of finely chopped mint leaves mixed with the finely grated zest of half a lemon.

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 1 vanilla pod
    • 170g caster sugar plus one extra tablespoon
    • 200ml water
    • 700g apricots
    • 115g crème fraîche
    • 1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped lemon balm

    Method

    1. Put the vanilla pod, sugar and water into a wide saucepan and dissolve the sugar over a medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Wash, halve and stone the apricots. Drop a single layer into the syrup and gently poach until tender. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a clean bowl.
    2. Cook the remaining apricots in the same way, then reduce the remaining liquid until syrupy. Pour over the apricots with the vanilla pod. Beat 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and the lemon balm into the crème fraîche. Serve with the apricots.

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