Poached apricots with almond sponge, apricot gel and clotted cream ice cream


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Poached apricots

  • 500g of apricot, halved and stoned
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 250g of water
  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zet
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
  • 75ml of apricot purée
  • 1/2 stick of cinnamon

Clotted cream ice cream

  • 120g of egg yolks
  • 130g of caster sugar
  • 150g of double cream
  • 400g of semi-skimmed milk
  • 15g of glycerine
  • 250g of clotted cream


Almond sponge

Apricot gel

  • 150g of apricot purée
  • 50ml of white wine
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, seeds only
Begin by preparing the clotted cream ice cream. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until fully combined
Gently warm the double cream and milk in a heavy based pan, then whisk the warm cream gradually into the egg yolks and return the combined mixture to the pan
  • 150g of double cream
  • 400g of semi-skimmed milk
Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the custard begins to thicken – the temperature should reach 79℃ for 15 seconds to pasteurise the eggs
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in both the clotted cream and glycerine. Pass the custard through fine chinois and press a sheet of clingfilm down on to the surface
  • 15g of glycerine
  • 250g of clotted cream
Chill completely, ideally overnight, then churn in an ice cream machine. Keep the ice cream frozen until ready to serve
For the almond praline, cook the sugar to a medium caramel in a heavy based pan, add the almonds and continue to heat until the mix goes fluid again
Add the butter, mix thoroughly and pour the praline mixture onto a silpat mat to set. Leave to cool completely, then chop into coarse pieces and set aside until required
  • 10g of unsalted butter
Preheat a water bath to 80℃
For the poached apricots, combine the sugar, water, lemon, apricot purée and spices together in a pan, heat to make a stock syrup and leave to cool
Place the apricots into vacuum bags and cover with the stock syrup, then use a chamber sealer to seal. Cook the apricots in the water bath for 20 minutes, transferring to an ice bath to blast chill once cooked
Preheat the oven to 160℃/gas mark 3
To make the sponge, cream the butter and sugar together and gradually add the egg. Sift together the almond, flour and salt and fold into the butter mix, adding almond extract to taste
Bake in silicone mini bar moulds for 12–15 minutes until risen and golden brown
To make the gel, combine all of the ingredients in a pan and whisk together thoroughly. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat. Allow to cool and then blitz into a purée
To serve, run a smear of apricot gel along each plate and place a few warm pieces of sponge cake diagonally across the gel
Arrange three apricot halves alongside the sponge cake, slicing into smaller pieces if necessary, and create a circle of chopped praline in the centre of the plate
Spoon a small ball of ice cream on top of the circle and finish with dots of apricot gel and a final sprinkling of almond praline
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