I love apricots; not only for eating fresh but also for cooking with. There are just so many ways to bring out their incredible tartness. For instance, poaching them in a sugar syrup and served along side a blob of Chantilly cream; or baked with honey, lemon and ground spices like cardamom or cinnamon to really bring a warming glow.
Apricots sold in the UK are most commonly of Turkish, Cypriot or French origin. We usually enjoy them whole, like any other fruit, or made into cakes, jams or stewed in puddings. Dried apricots are great for snacking or added as part of home-made granola to have at breakfast.
The recipes on this page reflect a distinctly British approach to using this wonderful fruit. You wont find any exotic Moroccan tagine recipes but I think these will make a suitable alternative.
Apricot, almond and sultana scones
A wonderful tea time creation from the Scots traditionally made with flour or oats and leavened with baking powder instead of yeast. I absolutely love scones especially packed with dried fruit as you see here. Queen of baking Mary Berry’s scone recipe is also real treat.
Makes 20 scone triangles
- 250g flour
- 150g sugar
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 150g butter
- 250g chopped dried or fresh apricots
- 150g raisins or sultanas
- 200g chopped toasted almonds
- 200ml plain yoghurt or milk
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 230C.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter.
Cut into it with a knife until no large pieces remain and the mixture is coarse and crumbly (or you can ‘rub in’ the butter and flour with your finger tips to get the same result).
Add the chopped apricots, raisins, ground almonds and yoghurt.
Once all of the liquid has been added, beat together with a wooden spatula until the dry and wet ingredients are combined.
On a floured work surface, use your hands to finish combining the ingredients and knead together gently.
This should form a large ball of dough.
Divide the ball of dough in half and shape each half into a round disc, about 3/4″ to 1″ thick, on one of the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one comes out clean.
Slice into even sized triangles and serve.
Once cool, keep scones in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Makes 15 slices
- 110g porridge oats
- 225g plain wholemeal flour
- 75g dark brown soft sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 150g block butter, melted
For the filling:
- 350g ready-to-eat dried apricots (or dried dates), chopped
- Combine the flour, oats, sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and add the melted butter. Stir thoroughly.
- Distribute half of the mixture onto the base of a 20cm/26cm/4cm tin.
- Arrange the filling carefully all over this. Distribute the rest of the mixture evenly over the filling and press this down firmly with your hands or with the back of a spoon.
- Bake near the centre of the oven (or just above) for about 20–25 minutes until golden brown. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then cut into 15 squares, cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight tin.