Baked apricots with marsala ice cream by cook and food writer Diana Henry

Baked apricots with marsala ice cream by cook and food writer Diana Henry

Baked apricots with marsala ice cream by cook and food writer Diana Henry 

Baked apricots are one of the best summer desserts, at the same time tart and honeyed. They’re good with a dollop of crème fraîche but are even better with marsala ice cream (which is basically Italian zabaglione in ice cream form). This ice is rich and silky.

SERVES 8

20 apricots, halved

250ml dry white wine

2 tsp vanilla extract

85g caster sugar

For the ice cream

6 large egg yolks

120g caster sugar

150ml full-fat milk

450ml double cream

100ml sweet marsala

a squeeze of lemon (add it to taste)

  • To make the ice cream, beat the egg yolks and sugar in an electric mixer for 2 minutes until pale and frothy. Heat the milk and cream together in a saucepan until it’s steaming then whisk this into the egg mixture, pouring slowly and whisking all the time.
  •  Rinse out the pan, put the egg and cream mixture into it and set it over a low heat. Cook gently, stirring all the time, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon (if you run your forefinger through the custard it should leave a channel). Don’t get the mixture too hot or it will scramble. Pour the custard into a bowl set in a sink full of cold water so that it cools quickly. Stir it every so often as it’s cooling. Add the marsala, taste and add a little lemon juice (oddly it intensifies the flavour of the marsala but you need to be careful not to overdo it). Cover and chill the mixture in the fridge. Churn the custard in an ice-cream machine then transfer to the freezer to firm up. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker put the custard into a metal container and put in the freezer. You need to remove the mixture and beat it in a food processor (to incorporate air into it) 3-4 times during the freezing process.
  •  Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan. Lay the apricots, skin side up, in slightly overlapping circles or rows in a shallow ovenproof dish. Mix the wine with the vanilla and pour it over. Sprinkle on the sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on the ripeness of the fruit) until tender and slightly caramelised in patches. Leave to cool.
  •  Serve the apricots with the marsala ice cream.

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