Beautiful dried Turkish apricots are soaked, candied with lemon scented syrup, stuffed with rich cream, and garnished with crunchy pistachios to make the perfect, lightly sweet one bite treat! Serve them after dinner, as an appetizer, for afternoon tea, or even for breakfast.
- 24 dried Turkish apricots (about 1/2 pound)
- 1 cup kaymak, clotted cream, or mascarpone at room temperature
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
- Soak the apricots in 2 cups of cold water for 8 hours or overnight.
- After the apricots have finished soaking, remove them from their soaking liquid. You should have about 1 cup of liquid left. Add more water if needed to reach 1 cup.
- Combine the soaking liquid with the lemon juice and sugar in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Gently add the apricots to the liquid, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apricots are very tender, but not mushy, 10 to 20 minutes. I found the apricots cooked unevenly, so it’s best to check the apricots as you go and remove them individually to a plate when they are tender. Allow the apricots to cool to room temperature.
- Once all the apricots are removed from the liquid, increase the heat to a full boil, and continue to cook until the sauce is reduced slightly and starting to become syrupy. It should easily coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Use a paring knife to gently open each apricot about halfway. Carefully spoon the filling into each, then dip the exposed filling in the chopped pistachios.
- Arrange the stuffed apricots on a serving platter, drizzle with the syrup, and scatter any remaining pistachios over top.
Choosing the right apricots – Try to use Turkish apricots for this recipe. Their plumper, thicker texture naturally makes them the best choice for stuffing.
Stuffing the apricots – This recipe traditionally calls for a type of cream called kaymak. Since kaymak is not readily available for most in the US, I’ve suggested clotted cream or mascarpone as good alternatives.
When opening the apricots, use a small, sharp paring knife. Cut them about halfway open, but no further.
It will be easiest to stuff the apricots if the filling is softened slightly at room temperature.
I found it easiest to stuff the apricots by using a small spoon. I tried a pastry bag, but it seemed a little clunky for this task. Simply scoop up a small spoonful of filling, and load it into each apricot.
Optional add-ins – I wanted to keep this recipe as true to its roots as I could but had a few ideas for how to make it even more interesting. If you want to mix things up a bit, why not try adding cardamom to the soaking liquid, or maybe stirring a bit of orange flower water or rose flower water into the cream.
Extra syrup – You will likely have extra syrup. Don’t throw this away! Use to drizzle over ice cream or stir into a cocktail.
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Turkish