These taste wonderful, and they make the house smell that way as they poach slowly. If you made a batch and jarred them as hostess gifts, you'd be awfully popular.
The orange-colored dried apricots you find at Middle Eastern markets are best to use here, but organic dried Turkish apricots will do.
Make Ahead: The log of filling needs to be chilled for 1 hour, and the stuffed apricots need to be chilled for 1 hour before serving. They can be refrigerated (in their syrup) in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Servings: 15 - 20
- For the apricots
- 2 cups blanched whole almonds or skinless slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg white
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 pounds dried whole large apricots (see headnote)
- For the syrup
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups amaretto
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- Pinch fine sea salt
For the apricots: Pulse the almonds in a food processor just to the consistency of coarse meal; if you overprocess, you might end up with nut butter. Add the brown sugar; pulse to form a uniformly fine blend.
Add the egg white and almond extract; process until the mixture forms a ball. Scrape the mixture onto a medium-size piece of plastic wrap and form it into several thin logs 1/2-inch in diameter. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Use a very sharp knife to cut a slit in each apricot, forming a pocket at the center of each one.
Cut the chilled almond filling into slices -- one for each apricot -- then roll each slice into a shape that will fit in the pocket. Stuff each apricot, gently inserting the filling deep enough so that it won’t fall out. Press around the edges of the apricot to gently seal.
For the syrup: Combine the granulated sugar, amaretto, vinegar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Carefully add the stuffed apricots to the hot syrup, stirring gently to submerge. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low. Cover and cook for about 2 hours or until the apricots are plump and silky-soft.
Cool the apricots completely in the syrup, then transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour, before serving each portion with some of the syrup.
Adapted from "Cooking Slow: Recipes for Slowing Down and Cooking More," by Andrew Schloss (Chronicle, 2013).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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