Apricots with ashta (cream)


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?

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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

METHOD:

  1. Soak the apricots overnight in hot water to soften them.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


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3 Comments

  1. Leyla
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Hello,
    I cooked it it was very delicious. I used ricotta
    :)
    Thank you

  2. Joumana
    Posted September 1, 2009 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Leyla
    So glad! Ricotta is a great idea, too!

  3. charlotte
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Hello!
    Your recipe sounds wonderful and I love making fruited syrups. They are seen as exotic in a meal yet sooooo easy to make.LOL. Please tell me more about step 1 and 2. I am seeing this. A medium 8 CUP sauce pan with the 1 lb of apricots. Slightly cooled water from boiling point, poured over the top of the fruit TO COVER ( is the amount of water to cover?) and it sits until morning. In the morning, remove the fruit from the sauce pan and then add sugar etc AND then the rest of the recipe. The apricots are poached in the creation of the syrup. I imagine the skins have fallen off and should be removed.
    It sounds great. Thank you

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  1. By Last-minute holiday ideas on December 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    [...] Apricots filled with clotted cream, for the recipe click here. [...]

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