Roasted Apricots with Camomile

6 July 2006

Although I’ve never been a big fan of apricots or plums, I just couldn’t resist trying these recipes – not surprisingly, I liked the pictures in the books :) and I was happy to find decent fruit at a market.

The first recipe I tried was roasted apricots with camomile from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming – I’ve been inspired by this beautiful book in many ways and this time was no exception. It’s as simple a recipe as it sounds but I enjoyed it thoroughly – I was lucky to find good apricots when my camomile in our garden just started flowering. I love the smell of fresh camomile, it’s really refreshing and soothing at the same time.

Make the syrup first and cook the vanilla and camomile flowers, then roast the apricots in the sieved flavoured syrup. As Claudia mentions in her book, the tart apricots brighten/balance the gently perfumed flavour of the camomile – delicious with ice-creams, creme fraiche etc.
 


I found this recipe in one of my old Japanese books – it looked quite understated and I was intrigued by the combination. Apricot and pistachio is a fairly common pairing, but in this version, the green layers which sandwich apricot mousse are matcha sponge – an idea which I was thoroughly convinced by :) A topping of whipped double cream and a dusting of cocoa powder complete this lovely, summery dessert. They are so light and melting in your mouth – I made them petit size this time but couldn’t stop with just one as you may imagine :)

I’ve made another delicious dessert with plums too, I’ll post about it next time.
 


 

Roasted apricots with camomile

serves 4

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup fresh camomile flowers (if not available, you can use 1 camomile tea bag instead)
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
8 apricots, unpeeled, halved and pitted
 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Add the vanilla seeds (as well as the pod) and camomile, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Finely sieve into a roasting tray.

Place the apricots in the syrup, cut side down, then roast for about 10 minutes. Turn them over, baste with the syrup and roast for another 5 minutes (or until tender).
 

        51 comments    Permalink

  • I look forward to every new update and I definitely wasn’t disappointed this time. Beautiful!

    Posted by Stefanie Noble | 7 July 2006 #
  • beautiful!! (as always!)

    Posted by Kat | 7 July 2006 #
  • Oooh Keiko, this looks so tempting!!

    Loving the idea of matching the two together, Matcha and Apricots.

    I can’t wait for summer fruits to come back in season here. I love them, however I will have to make do with my own preserved ones for a few more months yet.

    Posted by Bron | 7 July 2006 #
  • That first shot looks just like the book, Keiko! Gorgeous job! I am not the biggest fan of apricots either but your matcha and apricot pairing might change my mind:)

    Posted by Anita | 7 July 2006 #
  • Beautiful.....as always!

    Posted by Karen | 7 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Beautiful, as usual. Your creations are truly inspiring!

    Forgive my ignorance, but how do you achieve such a perfectly clean cut on your cakes? Heat the knife over flame? Or dip in hot water? Is it better to cut when the cake is chilled or slightly warm? Does the type of knife matter?

    Posted by LY | 7 July 2006 #
  • As usual gorgeous photos I love apricot and it is quite original to marry them with camomille ! It is also quite good with lavender !

    I realy love your matcha and apricot cream cake, absolutly perfect as usual! I would like to have the recipe !!!!!

    Posted by mercotte | 7 July 2006 #
  • Hey i’m the first one!

    This recipe look’s great!

    I love the graphic side of your creation...

    A bientôt

    Posted by ooishigal | 7 July 2006 #
  • If I only could grab my fork ...

    Posted by Guru | 7 July 2006 #
  • hi keiko!

    hmmm, something sweet yet simple, and beautiful as ever! i’m having a few friends over for dinner next week, so i am definitely going to try to cook this! :)

    Posted by Lil | 7 July 2006 #
  • Amazing Keiko. I think the roasted apricots will be perfect next to a cheese plate after dinner. Camomille is a very nice touch.

    Beautiful photos as always.

    Posted by Cenk | 7 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko

    So simple yet so lovely! I must admit I’ve not used fresh camomile before (usually find it as tea), but I can imagine its scent. Thanks for sharing :)

    j

    Posted by Jasmine | 7 July 2006 #
  • Thanks a lot for so beautiful pictures. I just love how you shot those apricots.

    Posted by Pierre | 7 July 2006 #
  • These Matcha/Apricot Mousse cakes look absolutely gorgeous! I know for sure I would love the texture and flavours. As to the colours, pretty!

    Posted by Bea at La Tartine Gourmande | 7 July 2006 #
  • I’m so glad you posted about apricots, because my backyard is full of them and i don’t know how to use them. I really should try this matcha and apricot cake. Sounds (and *looks*) so good.

    Fanny

    Posted by fanny | 7 July 2006 #
  • Keiko, how wonderful is the idea of this cake.i have never had anything containing pistachio and apricot. Plus visually the cake is pretty stunning.Great combination of visual and palatable pleasure.

    Posted by Valentina | 7 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Wow! The cake looks so fabulous as always, I was surprised also by the combination as green tea is not commonly paired with fruits. It is usually paired with chestnuts or red beans. I really wonder how it tasted. Oh, your cake looks so neat and nicely layered, and so sophisticated I must say. Thanks for the wonderful post.

    Posted by Cathy | 8 July 2006 #
  • hi keiko, how very gorgeous everything looks! i’ve been eyeing that lovely claudia fleming number for the longest time, but never got round as fresh camomile is unavailable here and i have two left thumbs in lieu of a green one, unfortunately ;) looking at your beautiful creations, however, more than makes up for it - i can almost smell and taste it just looking at the lovely pictures!

    ps: the coasters. a friend who worked with paul & joe had the coasters made up in an assortment of their signature prints as marketing collateral and had passed me a few as she knew i am a big fan of the label. i’ll keep an eye out for you for future re-issues ;)

    Posted by Joycelyn | 8 July 2006 #
  • Lovely Keiko! Who doesn’t love Apricots...?

    Thank you :)

    Posted by carolg@ParisBreakfasts | 8 July 2006 #
  • Another of my favorite tastes, green tea with pistachio and chamomile...yum! I just woke up out of an afternoon nap, and going back to the shop is hard in these hot days, but of course here I am looking at your site first thing after I’m settled back at the shop. And it really woke me up now! :-D It’s just too bad that your creation isn’t in front of me right now ready to be eaten :-P

    Lovely shots...again.

    Posted by Maya | 8 July 2006 #
  • I’m glad you find inspiration by Claudia Fleming’s book. She really is an amazing talent. And so are you, Keiko!

    Posted by David | 8 July 2006 #
  • so gorgeous

    Posted by bonheursdesophie | 9 July 2006 #
  • Gorgeous pictures, Keiko, and I love the use of camomile flowers! I’ve only ever used them to make herbal tea until now.

    PS My Japanese friend brought me some matcha, so I’ll be scanning your archives for recipes soon (alias once I get home from Stockholm:)

    Posted by Pille | 9 July 2006 #
  • Keiko, i’m very envious of how precisely you can cut your cakes! they look amazingly square. I also love the flowers on the apricots in the first picture. It creates a delightful contrast to that rich, vivid orange! a treat, as always!

    Posted by amanda | 9 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko, this is my first time here and I can´t seem to be able to leave your site. It is absolutely fascinating and the photos are amazingly beautiful. You are so talented Keiko, I can´t wait for your next post! Thank you for sharing...

    Posted by Elena | 9 July 2006 #
  • do you have a recipe for that matcha sponge and apricot mousse? and how do you cut those cakes so perfectly??!!

    Posted by kishko | 9 July 2006 #
  • Another trully inspiring post Keiko. I love the very first photo. You’re so lucky to have fresh camomiles - so pretty against the orange hue of the apricots. Stunning :)

    Posted by mae | 9 July 2006 #
  • This apricols are really gorgeous...

    Posted by Fabienne | 9 July 2006 #
  • You did it again. Gorgeous photos. Matcha sponge looks great.

    Posted by krithika | 9 July 2006 #
  • your first shot of the roasted apricots is so ’summery’ in essence.. absolutely love it... keiko, methinks that you should really be publishing your own book (i would buy it without hesitation both for the delish pics and the recipes)!

    Posted by eatzycath | 10 July 2006 #
  • Great photos again!

    I am just back from Hong Kong and I will post few photos tomorrow. It was really an experience.

    Posted by Francesco | 10 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    You are a cooking artists! Your pictures and not forgetting recipes looks absalutely fabulous..:) Will always read this blog..

    Cheers

    Posted by CountessGodiva | 11 July 2006 #
  • I’ll be trying this when it is summer down here.

    Posted by Barbara | 11 July 2006 #
  • Dear Keiko,

    Thank you so much for your beautiful blog and excellent inspiration.

    I was wondering whether you would share your Top10 in cookbooks with us.

    Kind regards from Denmark,

    Mette

    Posted by mette | 11 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko - another lovely post! I’m with you - I draw inspiration from recipes that include beautiful companion photos - even if I don’t care much for the individual ingredients!

    The roasted apricots with chamomile sounds delightful - a delicious after-dinner treat!

    Posted by gilly | 11 July 2006 #
  • i can certainly smell oops! or rather see that summer is in full force now!!! :) yeah, am not a fan of apricot as well though i love red plums

    WOW! i can see that you did your own garden too!!! how lovely ... (did u have photo of your garden somewhere?

    i like camomile, perfect bedtime drink.the combo looks interesting interplay of aroma & taste.

    Matcha mousse cake is always between bitter-sweet affair but i simply adore these. interestingly, may i know your tip on making that clean cut? please dun tell me to use the $$$ceramic knife$$$ :P

    Posted by slurp! | 11 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Thanks for beautiful blog.

    We were wondering what camera and lenses you’re using.

    Regards from Poland

    Posted by fri & bartek | 11 July 2006 #
  • What an incredible Mousse cake !!! It looks so good & so perfect... I adore your blog. See you soon.

    Posted by Camille | 12 July 2006 #
  • Gorgeous !

    Posted by Christell | 12 July 2006 #
  • Hi there, thanks so much for all your feedback.

    Bron - I hope the weather is better now, keep warm!

    Anita - it was a lovely combination, I’m sure I’ll be making it again.

    LY, kishko, Slurp - I normally freeze mousse type desserts and as LY said, warming the knife helps too (doesn’t matter what type of knife you use :))

    Mercotte - I must try it with lavender too.

    Lil - hope you enjoyed it.

    Jasmine - I love the smell of fresh camomile, oh and you just reminded me that the jasmine in our garden smells lovely now too ;)

    Cathy - I wasn’t sure either but all the flavours are subtle and work really well together. I may actually prefer this combination to the normal pairings such as azuki...

    Joycelyn - I happened to find a tiny camomile plant this spring and it’s growing really well, the flowers are so pretty :) Thank you for letting me know about the gorgeous coasters, you’re so lucky to have such special stuff - I’ve been wearing Paul & Joe for a long time, not so much in recent years but still have quite a few dresses in my wardrobe ;)

    David - I’ve tried quite a few of her recipes and they were all lovely. And if you talk about a talent, it must be you ;)

    Pille - hope you had a wonderful time (I LOVE Stockholm), looking forward to seeing your beautiful matcha creations.

    Mette - it would be a difficult task, but worth considering :)

    Slurp - I didn’t think I would, but I really enjoy growing things in our garden - except for having to deal with worms! I’ll try to put some pics up :)

    Fri & Bartek - I use a Canon 350D and a 50mm lens for food shots.

    Posted by keiko | 18 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Do you have a recipe for matcha sponge that you could share? I would really like to try it. Thanks!

    Posted by Weylin | 21 July 2006 #
  • Hi Weylin - you can try this one I posted a while ago;

    http://www.nordljus.co.uk/en/index.php?showimage=72

    it’s a biscuit recipe (I used a genoise recipe this time) but I’m sure it’ll work.

    Posted by keiko | 27 July 2006 #
  • What a beautiful cake! Can I ask what is garnishing each piece? Thanks for sharing you’re art with us!

    Posted by Tajiri | 2 August 2006 #
  • This looks amazing. I am allergic to pistachios so I always like to see alternatives that work well. I was also surprised by pairing fruit with green tea, but I think it would be a nice combination. I will give it a try. Thanks for the great idea.

    Posted by Kelli | 10 August 2006 #
  • hi, may i know the recipe for the matcha cake? thanks

    Posted by vitaminnashi | 6 September 2006 #
  • Truly irresistible delights! I might try the roasted apricot recipe, but I know I’ll mess it up. Could never get a recipe right.

    Posted by Agnes | 8 November 2006 #
  • Hi Tajiri – I’m sorry I didn’t get back sooner, as I noted, it’s matcha sponge with apricot mousse topped with whipped double cream (and cocoa powder :))

    Hi Vitaminnashi – I’m sorry I didn’t get back sooner. I’m afraid it’s from one of my Japanese books and I don’t have time to translate it right now – will try when I can. You can try matcha sponge recipe here

    Hi Agnes – it’s a very simple recipe and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it without messing up :)

    Posted by keiko | 12 January 2007 #
  • So beautiful, Keiko! So beautiful!

    Posted by Ivonne | 17 February 2007 #
  • Hello! Just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. I’ve read all the other posts but never bothered to comment, cause I’m very lazy. hehe. ^^;;
    All these photos belong in magazines! They are exceptionally beautiful and eye-catching. You have an amazing talent, don’t let it go to waste! Good job~!

    For the picture of the mousse cakes, what are the two little things poking out? Are they toothpicks? I spent the longest time looking at the cakes without noticing the two gold specks…what are they?

    Absolutely amazing, again. I’m sure your cooking is already perfected enough to create your own patisserie!

    Congrats, and keep cooking! ;]

    Posted by tin tin | 13 June 2009 #
  • Hi Tin tin – thank you for your kind note. As for the ‘little things poking out’ – they are edible gold leaves. I’ve just posted a recipe for the cake, hopefully you can try it sometime :)

    Posted by keiko | 6 July 2009 #
  • i have just discovered your lovely website. What great talent you have!

    Posted by Mein Low | 11 September 2010 #
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