Apricot yoghurt mousse

Who can resist the first velvet-skinned apricots of summer? Like many fruits, their fragrant, sweet flesh is transformed by cooking into an intense tasting sweet sour frothy mess. Such intense tastes can be softened by the creamy sweet tastes of custard, yoghurt or cream to create silken ice creams and airy mousses.

I’ve chosen the fresh light notes of natural Greek yoghurt here to create a delicate mousse. I’ve deepened the overall flavour with vanilla, but you could transform it into a more floral dish by adding distilled rose water, fresh elderflowers or elderflower liqueur instead.  Serve chilled either in a small bowl or divide between 4 x 250m/9fl oz soufflé dishes. 

Serves 4

450g/1lb apricots, quartered and stoned

1 split vanilla pod

115g/4 oz caster (or granulated) sugar

12g/scant ½ oz leaf gelatine

140ml/ ¼ pint full fat natural Greek yoghurt

2 medium egg whites

 

1 Put the quartered and stoned apricots into a non-corrosive pan with the sugar and a vanilla pod that you’ve partially sliced lengthways to release its seeds.  Add 3 tablespoons water, cover and set over a medium low heat.  As soon as the sugar melts and the mixture starts to bubble, stir, reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 10-15 minutes or until the apricots have collapsed into a shapeless soft mess. Remove the vanilla pod – it can be washed, dried and re-used.

2 Shortly before the apricots are ready, place the leaf gelatine in a bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain off the water and stir the gelatine into the hot apricots until it has dissolved.  Puree the mixture. If your apricots have tough skins, you may need to sieve the mixture, but otherwise, just tip into a bowl.  Once tepid, cover and place the bowl in the fridge.

3 You will need to keep an eye on it. Once the puree starts begins to hold a trail, place the Greek yoghurt in a large mixing bowl.  Using a balloon whisk, whisk the yoghurt until it is smooth, then very gradually whisk in the apricot puree so that it forms a smooth puree.  Return to the fridge. 

4  Place the egg whites in a clean dry mixing bowl. As soon as the apricot mixture begins to form a soft set – enough to hold the whisked egg whites - whisk the egg whites into soft peaks and using a large flat metal spoon, gently fold them into the apricot puree. Immediately transfer the mixture to your chosen bowl or bowls and return to the fridge until the mousse sets.

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