Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Last Saturday, Annie, Rachael, and I went to our friend Julie's house for dinner and to exchange Epiphany presents. My holiday preparations this year were halfhearted (I get more misanthropic at Christmastime with every passing year), and on Saturday morning I decided that Julie's little bag of presents was inadequate. What else could I make that would be unusual and festive, and not require going to the store to get ingredients? I decided to make pan de albaricoque, similar to this apricot bread but with more flavors. I was astonished when we opened our presents to find that Julie had made us Turkish fig balls--a very similar concept, dried fruit whizzed in the Cuisinart with nuts.
My apricot bread was easy and pretty successful, so I'll present you with its recipe:
Pan de Albaricoque
375g dried apricots (I used Trader Joe's Blenheim apricots, as they're a lot more flavorful than Turkish ones)
90g each pistachios and almonds
2t orange zest
1T each sugar and honey
1t powdered ginger
optional: more dried apricots, bay leaves, dried cherries
Toast the nuts in the oven at 350 F° for about 10 minutes, then grind them up in your food processor till they're fine meal. Don't let them turn to greasy butter! Put them in a bowl, then grind the remaining (non-optional) ingredients till they're a nice, smooth paste. Scrape the paste (watch out for the blade! I nearly made pan de albaricoque y sangre!) into the bowl of nut meal and mix everything together thoroughly with your hands. Divide it in half and shape into two big, flat circles.
You can make a cereza sandwich with one of the circles if you like, by cutting it in half, pressing dried cherries onto one of the halfs, covering it with the other half, and squashing it some more to make it as thin as it was before. You could decorate the other circle by covering it with some of your prettier dried apricots, or just cut it into wedges and stick a bay leaf on each.
If these are anything like the pan de higo I made a couple of years ago that's still good, they should keep a long time.