We may have over extended ourselves with the bounty of Central Otago. But when apricots are $4/kilo it is hard to resist this pink-gold downy fruit.

During our last few days in Central Otago we were trying to use up leftovers: half a packet of lady fingers, a near full bottle of overly sweet pear cider which seemed to taste strangely of bananas, a sheet of puff pastry and several egg yolks. Plus the heaving box of apricots.

Two surprisingly successful desserts emerged from these ingredients.

Apricot Gallette: I baked about a dozen apricots, cut in half and stones removed, in the strange pear cider and about 5 tablespoons of icing sugar until just beginning to collapse and the liquid almost froths around the edges. I greased a round cake tin, laid the sheet of pastry in the bottom and placed the cook apricots, draining off the liquid, on top of the pastry. I then folded down the edges of the pastry to make a sort of cap encasing the fruit.

apricot gallette

Apricot Trifle-thing: We stewed another 10 or so apricots, halved and stones removed, with several tablespoons of granulated sugar in about 1/2 cup of water. Once the apricots were cooked and soft we drained off the liquid in a wide bowl. To the liquid we added a dash of peach schnapps and dipped about 100 grams of lady fingers, laying them in a rectangular dish. Stewed apricots on top of the soaked sponge and then we made a vanilla egg custard. In the fridge to set overnight. We learnt from these experimental-no-recipe desserts that everything improves after a night in the fridge.

After two days in the boot of our car we feared the apricots were beginning to deteriorate; in spite of the wet, miserable and windy Wellington weather.

Apricot Jam: 2.7kg of apricots, 2.7kg of sugar, 2 1/2 cups water makes a lot of jam. Upon opening a jar there is the scent of overly ripe, sweet apricots and dessert wine. The jam is the colour of roaring, licking flames. The flavour is sharp and sweet and intense. This jam serves as a reminder that summer continues in other parts of the country.

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