Vanilla cream pots with cider brandy and orange apricots

An exquisite dessert from Tamasin Day-Lewis - ambrosial vanilla creams with luscious apricots, and orange and cider brandy syrup
By Tamasin Day-Lewis
Vanilla cream pots with cider brandy and orange apricots
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus infusing, cooling and soaking
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 18 dried apricots, preferably unsulphured
  • 200 ml freshly squeezed orange juice, (about 4 oranges)
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 500 ml double cream
  • 100 ml full-fat milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 75 g unrefined vanilla sugar
  • rind of 1 oranges, cut into matchstick shreds
  • 100 g unrefined caster sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • splash of cider brandy
  • few drops of sweet orange oil, (optional)

Method

1. Soak the apricots overnight in half the orange juice. Reserve the remaining juice in the fridge.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3.

3. Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Put the pod and seeds in a saucepan with the cream and milk. Heat to scalding point, cover and remove from the heat. Leave to infuse for 30 minutes or so.

4. Beat the egg yolks with the vanilla caster sugar for 4-5 minutes until thick and pale. Remove the pod from the cream mixture and pour the liquid over the yolks, whisking well.

5. Strain the cream into ramekins. Place them in a roasting pan with enough hot water to come halfway up their sides. Cover them with a sheet of greaseproof paper to prevent a skin forming as they cook.

6. Bake for 35-40 minutes until quiveringly set. They will continue to cook outside the oven. Remove from the pan and leave to cool completely.

7. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add the orange rind shreds, blanch for 1 minute then drain.

8. Pour the reserved orange juice into a saucepan. Add the 100g caster sugar, the water and the blanched orange rind. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

9. Add the soaked apricots and their soaking juice. Simmer for about 15 minutes until tender.

10. Pour into a glass bowl then add a generous slug of brandy and the orange oil if using. Stir well and leave to cool.

11. Pour on top of the vanilla pots and serve at room temperature.

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