24 plump dried apricots (soaked overnight in cold water)
2oz peeled or salted pistachio nuts
½ pint stock syrup
1 vanilla pod
8oz unsalted butter cubed
4 sprigs of mint
This is a simple dish as well as being tasty and well-balanced.
In a bowl beat the mascarpone until it is soft and silky. Chill well.
Gently squeeze out the apricots and drain on a tea towel or kitchen paper.
Melt some butter in a saute pan until just frothy but not brown. Place the drained apricots in the butter and cook gently. Be careful they do not burn. If you are cooking for four people then you will need to cook in two batches. When they are brown turn over and continue to cook for a further two to three minutes.
Ladle in the stock syrup bring to the boil and reduce slightly.
Add the pistachios and then the cold cubed butter and simmer until the butter has emulsified with the syrup. Do not reduce too far as this will make the sauce too sweet and sickly.
To serve place the apricots around a plate or bowl spoon over the syrup and pistachios and place the mascarpone in the centre. Top with a mint leaf.