Apricot desserts are a wonderful way to take advantage of the springtime flavor packed in the delicate apricot fruit. Light and tart, apricot desserts make a wonderful finish to any occasion, from a Mother's Day brunch to the first barbecue of the season. Some apricot desserts worth trying include linzertorte, apricot ice cream, stone fruit crisps, and grilled apricots.
The linzertorte is a decadent dessert with one of the oldest recipes in the world. Combining almonds, spices, and apricot preserves, this is a great dessert that can be enjoyed year-round. The key ingredients to a perfect linzertorte include a flaky nut crust made from ground almonds or hazelnuts, and high-quality apricot preserves or whole apricots soaked in brandy. Traditionally, a linzertorte has a latticed top crust made by laying strips of dough in a cross-hatch pattern across the apricot filling. Some chefs like to add a layer of chocolate to the dessert by pouring melted chocolate chips or ganache into the torte shell before adding the apricots.
For a delicate, fruity confection that truly tastes like spring, consider making apricot ice cream. Fresh, slightly over-ripe fruit may be best for ice-cream based apricot desserts, since the slightly squishy apricots tend to pack the most flavor. Some chefs recommend using full-fat whipping cream for apricot ice cream, but the dessert may be just as tasty with a combination of half-and-half and low fat milk. Almond extract, caramel swirls, and even graham crackers may be excellent additions to a basic ice cream recipe, though the delicate flavor can easily be overwhelmed. For a truly delicious summer dessert, sandwich a layer of homemade apricot ice cream between two freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookies.
Stone fruit crisps are a great way to use up fast-ripening stone fruit, such as plums, peaches, apricots, and nectarines. When apricots are used as the main ingredient, the finished crisp will usually have a light, slightly tart flavor, which can be excellent when served with vanilla ice cream. To make a basic crisp, peel and chop fruit, then place in a pie pan with sugar and cornstarch to thicken the juices. Combine butter with enough flour, brown sugar, and oatmeal to get a crumbly texture, then generously sprinkle over the apricot and stone fruit mixture. One of the easiest apricot desserts to throw together at a moment's notice, a crisp will be done when the crumbles turn golden brown and fruit starts to bubble in the oven.
Grilled apricots are a fabulous way to finish off a barbecue supper. Apricots should be sliced in half, then tossed with olive oil for a savory dessert, or canola oil and honey for a sweeter result. On a medium-hot grill, apricots should cook for about a minute on each side, or until grill marks are evident on the flesh. For grilled apricot desserts, consider using firm fruit that has not started to soften; over-ripe fruit may fall apart on the grill. Serve on their own, filled with marscapone and honey, or atop a scoop of ice cream.