Sophie Hansen lives on a farm west of Sydney with her farmer husband and 2 young children. She and her husband grow deer and sell venison at farmers markets across the state of NSW as well as in commercial specialty butchers/deli's. Sophie is an acclaimed food writer; her blog ‘Local is Lovely’ features a collection of beautifully illustrated recipes and resources for people who love farmers and local dining experiences. She has also created Local is Lovely the book which she describes as being 'a seasonal collection of recipes and stories celebrating fresh local produce'. Of course Sophie will be touching base with The Beetle Shack every month to share mouth watering recipes from snacks to three course meals.
And best of all, you can just pick and choose various components of the below recipes to suit your timing and inclination. So for example, you could just make the poached apricots and serve them with the custard (that is the base recipe of the ice cream) and a sprinkle of honeycomb. Or you could skip the custard part entirely and serve warm poached apricots with a nice ready made ice cream.
If you do end up doing the whole shooting match though, I promise you won't be sorry. Not a bit.
Apricot season has just finished here In Orange and in other stonefruit growing areas, which means that they are in the shops at great prices right now. If the ones you buy feel a bit hard, just leave them for a few days to soften up. But even if they still feel a bit hard when you're ready to get poaching, don't worry, that kiss of heat, sugar and vanilla will work their collective magic and transform your fruit into a bowl of golden, soft and sweet goodness anyway.
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup white wine
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 kg apricots, halved, stones removed
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the apricots, reduce heat to a low simmer and cover the fruit with a layer of baking paper. Poach for 5 minutes or until fruit is soft then remove from heat and keep in the fridge until needed.
Apricot Ice Cream
This may well have been the best ice cream I've ever made (I think at least...) and this was because the apricots were so good and the eggs so fresh. Serve in bowls or waffle cones with crushed store bought honeycomb.
500mls thickened cream
500mls whole milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
6 tbsp caster sugar
7 duck or 8 chook eggs
2 cups poached apricots, pureed
Place the cream, milk and vanilla in a saucepan and bring just to boiling point. Set aside for half an hour to infuse. Meanwhile, whisk the yolks and caster sugar until pale and thickened. Whisk a little of the hot cream into the yolks then add the remaining hot cream mixture and whisk well. Return this to the saucepan and place over a gentle heat. Cook, stirring constantly for six minutes or until the mixture coats the back of your spoon. Remove from heat, pour into a jug and place in the fridge overnight.
To make the ice cream, pour custard in your ice cream machine, add the apricot puree and churn according to manufacturers' instructions. Makes about 1 litre.
Happy cooking! Sophiex