Crème Caramel with Languedoc Apricots
Serve as the finish to a great dinner party
Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service
- Preparation time: 10 mins
- Cooking time: 90 mins
- Serves: 6
In a large saucepan, place the milk, cream and vanilla and bring to the boil.
Mix the eggs and egg yolks together with 80g of the caster sugar. Then pour on the hot cream mix and whisk together. Now add the orange zest.
Place 100g of the sugar into a thick bottomed pan and add 1 teaspoon of water. Bring this to the boil and continue cooking until it reaches a caramel stage. Pour a little caramel into the bottom of each of the 6 ramekin moulds. Then fill each of the ramekins to just below the top with the crème mix.
Place the ramekin moulds into a roasting dish filled with water to halfway up the outside of the ramekins. Place in the oven at 110°C for 1 hour or until just set.
Leave to cool and then place them in the fridge overnight.
Cut the apricots into quarters and poach in the orange juice mixed with 100g sugar. Cook until they are just soft.
Turn out the crème caramels onto 6 plates and garnish with the orange segments and apricots.
Apricots belong to the same botanical family as peaches, nectarines, cherries and plums – all grown on different species of the Prunus tree, all with beautiful spring blossoms.
They were originally thought to have come from Armenia – hence their botanical name Prunus armeniaca – and archeologists have found apricot kernels in excavations there, but, like plums and cherries, they may have originated in China.
Apricots certainly prefer hot climates, although they also like cold winters and most of our apricots are imported from Europe, with French apricots first appearing in May. However, they can grow in the UK too, and from last year apricots were being produced commercially on a large scale in Kent – a product of our gradually warming climate.
Apricots are very rich in beta carotene – the substance from which our bodies can make vitamin A – and if eaten raw are great for vitamin C too.
Mark’s lovely dinner party recipe only contains a few apricots, so they won’t make much of a difference to your fruit consumption. But when they are in season, munching two or three apricots is a wonderful way to get one of your five a day. When they’re not in season, dried apricots are good too, and again, about three apricots make up a portion.
Dr Juliet Gray, Company Nutritionist