Back from my mother's memorial service on Saturday, a little sad, but so happy to meet up with our extended family: it was grand to see you all!
Cooking always cheers me up, so when I noticed the juicy little apricots in the fruit bowl, I whipped out to the garden and snipped some of the lemon balm and lemon verbena (which is flowering!) to make the poaching liquid I use for so many fresh fruits. The lemon verbena is the spiky leafed sprig with little tiny white flowers. Reaching into the fridge I noticed half a mango and thought that would go well with the mild flavored apricot, so I grabbed that as well.
I simmered the herbs in water then let them steep to get the fullest flavor of the herbs ( and a few green cardomom pods), then poached the fruits very briefly, removed, and chilled both the herb infusion and the fruits. Serve with either some Greek yogurt or softly whipped cream, and you have a lovely dessert , perfect for brunch, breakfast, or dinner. Pears are also delicious prepared this way.
This makes enough liquid for approximately 6 apricots and 1 mango, with some to spare.
2 cups water ( you can add a little sweet white wine or a squeeze of lemon if you like)
several sprigs of fresh lemon balm
several sprigs of fresh lemon verbena
3 or 4 green cardomom pods
1/3 cup sugar
Simmer the herbs, cardomom, and sugar in the water briefly, then let cool for 30 minutes.
Cut the apricots in half and de-stone them.
Peel the mango and cut into spears.
Bring the herb/water mixture to a simmer again, and poach the fruits for around 4 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to gently remove to a bowl. Pour a little liquid into the bowl with the fruits, then simmer the liquid until it is reduced to a little under a cup.
Chill the poaching liquid and the fruits separately in the fridge until ready to serve.
In shallow bowls, scoop out the mango spears and apricots, add a little liquid, then top with Greek yogurt or whipped cream and a few fresh mint or lemon balm leaves.
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