Mirin and spice poached apricots with cardamom cream

Spiced apricots recipe


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This is the first time I've tasted mirin and I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I like it. I think I never really got around to experimenting with it before because I really didn't know where to go looking for it. Now that I have it figured out, I've made a note to self to discover new ways of cooking with mirin.

I'm quite thrilled at how mirin has worked so well in this dessert as I would never have thought of rice wine as a dessert ingredient. It's been very well received around here and the husband has already requested more such innovative recipes.

All sorts of fruits like peaches, pears, nectarines etc. should work in this recipe. Make sure you go for firm fruits so they don't disintegrate while poaching in the syrup. The mirin does add a delicate sweet flavour so I've gone easy on the sugar, although feel free to adjust according to taste. You can also serve them with Chantilly cream, custard or even ice cream. It tastes fab even on its own.

Place the mirin, water and sugar in a pan. Add the star anise, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla extract (if using) then place over a high heat and bring to the boil
Reduce the heat to medium and add the apricot halves. Allow to cook for 12–15 minutes, or until soft and cooked through
Scoop out the apricots with a slotted spoon and reserve in a bowl. Place the poaching liquor back on the heat and cook down to reduce the mirin mixture to a syrup consistency
Once thick and syrupy turn off the heat and mix the apricots back into the syrup. Set aside to cool completely before serving or chill until required
Before serving, whisk together the double cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form. Add the ground cardamom then continue to whisk to create stiff peaks in the whipped cream – be careful not to over-whip as the cream may split
Transfer the cream to a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle (plain or shaped – I chose a star-shaped nozzle). To serve, divide the apricots between serving bowls and pipe in a mound of the whipped cream
Generously drizzle over the mirin syrup and garnish with dried edible flowers or petals
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