In Season: Apricots
Peaches get all the glory, but in our opinion, their little cousin, the apricot, deserves a far bigger spot in the stone fruit hall of fame. Their velvety skin, creamy, juicy flesh, and a pittance of a pit (which means you get more fruit in every delectable bite), all make up for one showstopper of a summer favorite. While they are delicious dried and super-sweet, when turned into the base of a tart or a filling for a pastry, their subtle, floral flavor is so sumptuous that hiding it under a bushel, so to speak, is almost a sin.
When we came across this recipe, from the masters at Canal House, we had to take note. Simmering the apricots in wine and sugar with licorice-like fennel fronds to create a fruit-infused syrup is so easy but so fancy, and pairing this lush concotion with creamy ricotta is a riff on peaches and cream that you will dream about for days, if not weeks, after you first taste it.
For the apricots
1 bottle white wine
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 branches fennel fronds, preferably with their flowering heads
6 black peppercorns
1 1/2 pounds apricots, halved and pitted
For the ricotta
2 cups finest fresh ricotta
1 tablespoon sugar