Apricot Dessert Cup Recipe
Growing your own fruit is such a blessing. Really the only inconvenience is when the birds beat you to the harvest. Our solution this year is our new puppy, Earnest Tofu. In addition to having our friendly family pet who's a wonderful deterrent for birds, squirrels and pests, we're able to pick the fruits when they're not fully ripened from the tree. For optimum flavor, we speed up the process by placing them in a paper bag with a banana and an apple. Then every day I check their status; it takes patience to get to eat the most delicious fruits!
I was recently able to gather many apricots, so I made my favorite dessert to serve at our dinner social: dessert cups. I used chocolate rum sauce between layers of gingersnap cookies and apricot custard.
Our newest addition to the family (this was taken back in March). Earnest Tofu was named after Oscar Wilde's comedy (one of our family's favorites) and "Tofu" because most of our family members (except for baby Aria and me) are vegetarian!
Yields: 14 cups20 apricots, ripe
¼ cup rum
28 gingersnap cookies (click on the link for the recipe or use store-bought), crushed
6 egg yolks
1¾ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 (8-ounce) packages mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 quart heavy whipping cream, cold
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate rum sauce (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
For the apricots:
Peel the apricots (if the fruit is very ripe, the skin should come right off); otherwise here's a neat method to peel them. Make a small, shallow criss-cross cut at the bottom of the fresh fruit using a bread knife (I use a bread knife because the blade won't bruise the fruit). Fill a small saucepan with cold water and bring to a boil. Place the apricots in the water and wait for at least 30 seconds. Remove the apricots (I use a strainer or a slotted spoon), then transfer to an ice cold bath to stop the cooking process. The skin will come right off. Cut them in half and remove the stones. Reserve a few apricots for garnish and blend the rest into a purée with ¼ cup sugar.
For the mascarpone filling:
Beat the egg yolks with 1 cup sugar in a small stainless steel mixing bowl. Prepare a double boiler: Fill a saucepan with water, making sure the water barely covers the bottom of the stainless steel mixing bowl. I always like to add a little kitchen towel on top of the saucepan. The bowl won't jiggle and there won't be any splatter of water in your egg mixture. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Place the stainless steel bowl on the towel over the saucepan and whisk the egg mixture vigorously for about 3-5 minutes using a handheld mixer. You'll get a pale yellow foam and the texture of the egg yolk will be thicker. The mixture should fall like a ribbon of sauce when you lift the whisk. Add rum and mix well.
In another mixing bowl, whisk the mascarpone cheese to soften it. Slowly add the egg mixture to the mascarpone, adding just a little egg at a time. Add the vanilla extract and half the blended apricots. Mix well. Add the egg mixture a and mix well.
Clean your handheld mixer in hot soapy water and then rinse them in cold water. Always make sure the beater blades are completely clean prior to whipping cream for optimum results. The whipping cream should be whipped cold. Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add ½ cup sugar.
Reserve ⅓ cup for garnish.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the apricot custard to get an airy batter.
Plastic-wrap the containers and place in the refrigerator until the rest of the components of the dessert are ready.
Coarsely crush a dozen of the tuile cookies.
Line up 14 6-ounce glasses. Add a first layer of blended apricots. Add 1 teaspoon crushed cookies. Cover with about 1 tablespoon of the apricot custard filling. Add more crushed cookies per glass. Drizzle with more blended apricots. Cover with a layer of chocolate rum sauce. Finish with the apricot custard filling and a thin layer of the whipped cream. Level with a small spatula. Plastic-wrap each individual container and place in the refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours. The fat from the cream may pick up some other odor from the refrigerator if the containers are not sealed properly.
When serving, garnish with the apricot halves. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar and caramelize with a blow torch.
The method used to ensure that the egg yolks are fully cooked is basically the same procedure as is used to make a sabayon.
I prefer using superfine sugar. It is a fine-grained sugar and it dissolves more quickly than regular granulated sugar.
I usually add a little salt to most desserts. Salt brings out the flavors and will enhance the taste of your sweets.
For optimum flavor of the fruit, allow it to ripen after picking it from the tree (we waited for about 2 weeks); the skin should peel easily using the tip of a sharp paring knife.
For the chocolate rum sauce (optional): Place ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate, 1 tablespoon corn syrup and 1 pinch fleur de sel in a bowl. In a little saucepan, bring ⅓ cup heavy cream to a boil and pour over the semi-sweet chocolate. Add 2 tablespoons dark, amber rum to the chocolate. Mix with a wooden spoon. The sauce will thicken as the chocolate melts. Let cool and set aside.
Published By: on August 1, 2014.