This airy dessert is a nice way to end an Easter meal. It is a simpler take on the one served at Zaytinya, although we've given optional directions for a softly set apricot gelee like the one included in the restaurant's version.
Make Ahead: The apricots can be rehydrated several days ahead. The dessert can be assembled and refrigerated a day in advance.
- For the mousse and apricots
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup dried unsulphured unsweetened apricots
- 2 cups chilled heavy cream
- 2 cups full-fat Greek-style yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted unsalted pistachios, for garnish
- For the optional gelee
- Scant 2 tablespoons muscat or sweet dessert wine
- Scant teaspoon orange juice
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 vanilla bean, split
- 1/3 cup store-bought or homemade apricot puree (may substitute 5 ounces frozen mango chunks, defrosted and pureed)
- 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
For the mousse and apricots: Place the sugar in a medium bowl. Scrape the vanilla bean and add its seeds to the sugar, stirring to incorporate.
Place 1/2 cup of the vanilla sugar in a medium saucepan, then add the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. When the sugar has dissolved, add the dried apricots.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof container. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 20 to 25 minutes or until well chilled. Discard the syrup, and cut the apricots into small dice.
Combine the heavy cream and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on low, then high speed to form stiff peaks.
Place the yogurt in a medium bowl, then fold in half of the whipped cream, working to incorporate it completely. Fold in the remaining whipped cream to form a yogurt mousse.
Divide the diced apricots evenly among individual small bowls or martini glasses. Spoon equal portions of the yogurt mousse on top of the fruit, smoothing it evenly. (At this point, the optional gelee can be applied. See directions below.) Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and serve, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
For the optional gelee: Combine the wine, juice, sugar, vanilla bean and apricot puree in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from the heat; discard the vanilla bean. Gradually whisk in the powdered gelatin until well incorporated, being careful to avoid lumps. (If lumps occur, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.) The mixture will thicken a bit. Let cool for 10 minutes, then pour over the mousse in each bowl or glass. Garnish with chopped pistachios and serve, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
From Margery Meek Bradley, a sous-chef at Zaytinya in Penn Quarter.
Tested by Mike Isabella and Bonnie S. Benwick.
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