Sweet and Savory Stuffed Apricots
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes
Looking for something easy but different to serve alongside cocktails? These simple-to-make charmers, tart and tangy, sweet and spicy, float the boat at many a party.
½ teaspoon cardamom seeds (see Kitchen Tips)
1 teaspoon ground, roasted cinnamon (see Kitchen Tips)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
12 ounces (about 36) large, soft, moist dried pitted apricots
8 ounces soft, young goat cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons crème fraîche, room temperature
- Toast the cardamom seeds: pour them into a frying pan or cast-iron skillet and set over medium heat. Toast for 10 to 20 seconds, or up to 1 minute, until fragrant. Watch carefully to ensure that they do not burn. Transfer to a spice grinder, mini food processor, or coffee grinder dedicated to spices and grind to a fine powder. Pour into in small mixing bowl. Add the cinnamon and sugar and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Slice the apricots lengthwise, beginning at the opening where the pit was removed. Cut only three-quarters of the way through the fruit, so the two sides are still attached, like a clam shell. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the goat cheese and crème fraîche and mix until completely combined and smooth. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip. Squeeze about 1 teaspoon of the cheese into the center of each apricot. Gently press them closed, leaving a little cheese visible. Repeat with the remaining apricots.
- Dust the outside of the apricots with sugar-spice mixture and serve. (If you would like to do these ahead of time, slice and fill the apricots and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 day. Dust them with the spice mixture just before serving.)
- Cardamom seeds are available packaged, but they are often more flavorful when fresh from the pod. To remove the seeds from cardamom pods, place the pods on a work surface. Using the flat side of a large chef’s knife (being careful not to have the blade face you), gently press on the pods. The seeds will start popping out. Gather up the tiny seeds to use in your recipe. You can grind them in a spice grinder or a perfectly clean coffee grinder. If you wish, you can reserve the husks for infusing liquids such as teas and sauces.
- Roasted cinnamon is available in many supermarkets, spice shops and online, but if you would like to toast it yourself, follow the instructions for toasting the cardamom in Step 1 above. Be sure, however, to toast them separately, as the cardamom seeds need to be ground and the cinnamon does not.