Poached Apricots with Rosemary and Peppercorn Syrup

, from Issue #30. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Poached Apricots with Rosemary and Peppercorn Syrup

Serves: 6–8


350 grams moist dried apricots

1 cup orange juice
½ cup white wine
½ cup water
½ cup honey
½ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 cm sprig rosemary

To serve
sesame halva with pistachio


Combine all the syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Add the apricots and simmer for 20 minutes until the apricots are plump, stirring occasionally.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apricots to a bowl and set aside. Boil the syrup for 5 minutes then pour back over the apricots. Cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve: Divide the apricots between serving dishes and drizzle with syrup. Break the halva into small pieces and serve alongside.

Halva (halwa): this confection has as many variations as it does spellings. It can be made with sesame, semolina or cornstarch. The sesame version has a crumbly texture and is made from a base of tahini (sesame paste) and honey (and sometimes other nuts or seeds) and is flavoured with additions such as orange flower water or rosewater, nuts, dried fruits or cocoa. Halva is available from good supermarkets, specialty food stores and Asian and Indian food stores.