Blood oranges are one of the most-loved ingredients of recent years among British restaurateurs, and this mouth-watering dessert recipe for sweet apricots poached in blood orange and lemon juice is guaranteed to please all…
For the poached apricots:
Juice of 2 oranges or blood oranges (approx. 160ml)
3 wide strips of orange/blood orange peel, with pith removed
60ml lemon juice
2 wide strips of lemon peel, with pith removed
75g light brown sugar
250g dried apricots
1 bay leaf
2 tsp rose essence (40% alcohol) or 2 tbsp natural rose water
For the sweet labneh:
800g natural yoghurt
80g icing sugar
3 tbsp slice almonds
Dried organic edible rose petals
1. For the poached apricots, combine everything apart from the rose essence (or rose water) in a medium pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then leave to cool. If you’re using rose essence, add it just before serving, as it loses its scent fairly quickly. Once the mixture has cooled, cover it with clingfilm and leave in a fridge to infuse for 8-12 hours.
2. To make the labneh, decant the yoghurt into a large bowl and mix in the icing sugar and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Line a sieve with a muslin cloth, place both over a large bowl, an pour the yogurt into the cloth. Tie together the corners of the cloth and refrigerate for about 12 hours. Remember to leave the bowl under the sieve containing the yoghurt, as excess water will drip out. You can keep the poached apricots and labneh in the fridge for up to 3 days.
3. On the day of serving, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and toast the almonds for 8-10 minutes.
4. Remove the labneh from the cloth and divide it among 4-6 serving bowls. (If you’re using rose water, add it to the poaching liquid at this stage). Spoon 6-8 apricots and some of the poaching liquid into each bowl. Sprinkle with almonds and rose petals and serve immediately.
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