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August 30, 2022
When Life Gives You Apricots, Caramelize Them
Caramelized Apricots_article

Our dessert of the summer lets the browned sugar do the talking.

A fruity dessert that takes advantage of peak season produce is one of life’s greatest pleasures, particularly during summer’s bountiful fruit season. Naturally, it’s hard to beat flaky, buttery crusts filled with tender, saucy peaches—or tart, juicy berries blanketed with a crunchy crumble. But after a long day, I don’t always feel like going full pie mode. Here’s something fun to cobble together. 

It’s an understated and, dare I say, high-minded dessert—with the effortless vibe of a crisp white button-down layered over a summer outfit. Apricots are coated with honey and olive oil, then quickly grilled or roasted until tender and caramelized. A mixture of cream and tangy crème fraîche gets whipped with some vanilla and more honey, dolloped on top of the fruit, and showered with toasted pistachios, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of flaky salt. 

I’ll go a step further than saying this is easy to make. This is a great dessert to whip up if you can’t even be bothered to take out a measuring cup or spoon. Yes, I’ll include measurements in the recipe, but feel free to ignore them. Season your fruit with as much olive oil and honey as you like; amp up your cream mixture with sweetness until it tastes delicious to you. If you’ve ever grilled a hot dog, roasted a sheet pan of vegetables, or moved a whisk around in a bowl, you can make this dessert. 

carmelized apricots recipe

Plus, this is more of a game plan than a recipe. Make any swaps you like—try peaches with maple syrup and pecans. Add some powdered sugar to your crème fraîche mixture. Use all heavy cream, or swap the crème fraîche for a little yogurt or mascarpone. Zhuzh up that creamy topping with a sprinkle of cinnamon or cardamom or some citrus zest. For someone with a not-so-sweet tooth, this is a lovely way to close a meal—tart, rich, and textural, but not sweet by any means. That said, you know your palate—if you like things sweeter, top yours with an extra drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of demerara sugar. You can even skip half of the recipe and use vanilla ice cream in place of the crème fraîche mixture.

And don’t be shy—make a little extra. Leftover apricots, cream, and pistachios make a delightful topping for yogurt, oats, French toast, and more. 

RECIPE: Caramelized Apricots with Crème Fraîche and Pistachios

Megan Litt

Megan Litt is a Brooklyn-based cook & recipe developer.