Friday, April 20, 2007

Twice Upon an Apricot

There are some things that take more than once to accomplish. In college I had to take chemistry twice in order to pass. Learning to tie my shoes took way more than two times. Learning to drive was so terrifying that after the first lesson my Dad & I agreed to not do that again any time soon, so I learned to drive over five years later when I was more 'mature'.

Ever since I heard that Helene at
Tartlette was hosting HHDD# 11, with the theme this time being mousse, I've been trying to decide what kind to make. I finally settled on apricot. You can make apricot mousse any time of the year if you use dried apricots, it has a distinct but gentle flavor which goes well with the light texture of a mousse, and I happen to love apricots.

So the first time around I simmered the dried apricots in 1/2 cup water, forgot about them and ended up almost burning them. So much for a delicate apricot flavor. I also wan't too sure about the recipe I had decided on. Then, after buying more dried apricots, I came upon a recipe for Raspberry Mousse in Flo Braker's
The Simple Art of Perfect Baking. It is a recipe for a filling for a cake, so I had to make a few changes, plus apricots are not the same as raspberries, but I was pretty sure that I could adapt it for a simple, elegant mousse.

This time I kept an eye on the apricots, but almost overbeat the whipped cream. The amazing thing is that it all worked out. The mousse has a stronger apricot flavor than I had thought it would, but is very delicious if you like apricots. The texture is creamy, with just a little bit of texture from the apricots puree. The cherry brandy lends an elusive note that offsets the richness of the whipped cream nicely. Garnished with fresh strawberries and some fresh mint it is perfect of an early spring dessert.

Apricot Mousse
Loosely based on a recipe for
Raspberry Mousse, Flo Braker, The Simple Art of Perfect Baking

1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cherry brandy
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
strawberries & mint for garnish

Simmer the dried apricots in a small saucepan in the water for 15 minutes. Add the sugar and heat on medium-high for 5 minutes, keeping an eye on the apricots so that they don't burn.
While the apricots are simmering, combine the cold water & cherry brandy. Sprinkle the gelatin on the water mixture and stir. Set aside.
When the apricots are finished cooking, process them in a food processor or blender until they are pureed. Then mix in the softened gelatin. Place in a bowl and place the bowl over ice water. Whisk every minute or so for 5 minutes, or until mixture is cool.
While the apricot puree is cooling, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
Fold about one quarter of the whipped cream into the puree to lighten it. Then fold in the rest of the whipped cream and fold until cream is fully incorporated.
Spoon or pipe the mousse into serving dishes. Garnish with strawberries and mint. Chill for 3-4 hours. Serves 4-6.


Helene said...

I am glad you persevered because it paid off. I have bookmareked the recipe for next week with the neighbors. Sounds and looks delicious!

Peabody said...

Excellent. Very unique. I don't think I have ever had apricot mousse.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ooo, la la...I'm liking this one...great photo.

Lis said...

Fabulous mousse, Elle! It looks so creamy and luscious.. yum!


Brilynn said...

It's not your typically mousse flavour and I like that! It looks like ribbons.

Elle said...

Helene, glad you can use the recipe and it was worth it.

Peabody, it also makes a nice cake filling.

Tanna, thanks!

Lis, is is delicious.

Brilynn, the ribbon look was from a jury rigged paper cone with a slit...couldn't find my proper cone with star tip.

Kristen said...

This is beautiful! Lovely mousse.

Mary said...

I love your very original apricot mousse. I think apricot season is way too short, so thank goodness for dried apricots.

Cheryl said...

How lovely and light. You did a great job.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Elle, this is delicious! Apricots are great, I love them.

Oh, I once thought about buying that book. I'd love to hear your opinion about it, if you don't mind.

Elle said...

Patricia, The book is a good one and I like her style, but I've mostly taken it out of the library to cook from. I already have so many cook books that if I can borrow them rather than have them take up shelf space, it's better.
However :) I just bought a used copy of Julia Child's 'From Julia' Child's Kitchen', so I guess I still buy cookbooks, but ones that are more difficult to find.

Shawnda said...

Apricot mousse - how very unique!

Veron said...

This is great Elle! There's nothing like tenacity.You turned out a very lovely mousse.

kellypea said...

Apricots are one of my favorite fruits and this recipe really made my mouth water. Goodness -- it's sinful! Can't wait to try it out!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Elle, thank you so much for your answer, I really appreciate you taking the time to "kill" my curiosity! ;)

Barbara said...

Apricot Mousse sounds perfect. Thanks for joining HHDD.

Culinarily Curious said...

I love the color and suspect I'd love the flavor of this apricot mousse.

I love "do-overs" in the kitchen -- they provide the greatest opportunity to learn and refine skills and techniques.

Elle said...

Shawnda, must be, but not planned that way. Happy happenstance.

Veron, thanks. Tenacity has been tested lately with a certain pesky batter.

Kellypea, I hope you do try it... it is pretty decadent.

Patricia, Ohhh I didn't want to kill your curiosity. I enjoyed the book, but since it's often checked in at the library, I sort of take it for granted.

Barbara,you are welcome.

Elle said...

Dolores, The apricot flavor was nice and strong, but not burnt :)

Jenny said...

Ooh, wow, I really have to try this now. I've been craving nectarines, but they are not in season, so being able to make a mousse with dried fruit makes me very happy!

Elle said...

Jenny, The dried apricots worked very well...seasonless mousse could be dangerous.