Talk about an easy and delicious dessert! I had it in Beirut at a fancy restaurant and my friend Hoda vowed to try to make it at home. So, a few days later she invited me to come over to her place in Mosaiytbeh in West Beirut. She assembled it in a few minutes and then called her neighbor Marion and her daughter who was in town from London to come over. We inhaled at least five each! t is creamy, tangy, light and you can even say, good for you! It is the kind of dessert I would serve to children of any age without hesitation. What could be better than eating some apricots and a little cream?
Quantity will serve 6 people. Recipe is adapted from Seductive Flavors of the Levant by Nada Saleh
OK, here’s the ingredients:
1 lb dried apricots
12 oz granulated sugar
1 pint of water
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of orange blossom water (optional) or rose water or both
1/2 lb of cream (more on that later, it could be store-bought kaimak or ricotta or homemade ashta)
4 Tablespoons of finely ground pistachios
- Soak the apricots overnight in hot water to soften them.
- Heat the water and sugar and stir to dissolve. Let it simmer for a while (about 10-15 minutes) then add the drained apricots and lemon juice and cook until the syrup has thickened. Add the flavorings if using and simmer a few seconds then turn off the heat.
- Transfer the apricots to a serving platter and cool.
To assemble, split the apricots and fill each with about one tablespoon of cream. Drizzle some syrup over the fruit and sprinkle the ground pistachios. Sahteyn!
TO MAKE ASHTA: Refer to the post on Ashta
This recipe is from Anissa Helou’s Mediterranean Street Food
Simmer a pint of half-and-half with 2 slices of white bread (crusts removed), torn into tiny pieces. Stir the mixture on medium heat for about 10 minutes and then cool. The texture and taste is very close to the original ashta.