These vanilla and orange poached apricots are a perfect balance of sweet and tart. Try them served just on their own with Greek yoghurt and perhaps a sprinkling of chopped nuts, spoon them over granola, or, better still, on a thick slice of pound cake with a big dollop of whipped cream.
Makes enough to fill a 1 litre (1 quart) jar
Can be stored in the refrigerator for a week
1kg (about 2 pounds) firm, ripe apricots
100g (1/2 cup, packed) brown (demerara) sugar
50g (2 1/2 Tbsp) honey
250ml (1 cup) water
freshly squeezed juice of a large orange
1 x 5cm (2″) long strip orange zest
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Halve and pit the apricots and set aside.
Combine the sugar, water, honey, orange juice and zest and the vanilla bean in a wide, heavy based saucepan, and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the apricots, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 3 minutes, just until the apricots start to soften.
Remove the apricots with a slotted spoon and place carefully in a clean jar.
Bring the syrup to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, until thickened and reduced by about half. Remove the zest and vanilla bean and pour it into the jar over the apricots.
Seal the jar and allow to cool before serving or refrigerating for up to a week.