As children, my brother and I spent hours playing outside. We lived in a house which had a small field attached to it. This field was the playground of many epic adventures; hiding in the high grass, plotting schemes only logical to us, having picnics and sitting high above ground eating the fruit straight from the tree. The array of fruit available was vast: Damson, Green Gage & Mirabelle plums, cherries, apples, apricots, pears, blackberries, gooseberries, raspberries…
As a result of this harvest, I remember my mother making jam all summer long, the kitchen filled with that rich fruity and sugary smell. In our nuclear bunker (we were in Switzerland, most houses had them!), there was row upon row of jars. Had a war broken out, we certainly would have survived. My father, who likes unfussy cooking, was keen on fruit tarts. Roll out pastry. Arrange fruit, any kind of fruit. Bake.
And my way… It is apricot season at the moment in Switzerland so I seized my chance when I was over at the weekend and made this delicious fruit dessert. I have adapted it as the original recipe contained far too much sugar for my liking. It is delectable served warm with vanilla ice-cream as a dessert or chilled with some yogurt for breakfast :
Roasted Fruit with Vanilla
Adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe
100g golden caster sugar
1 vanilla pod split in two and scraped of its content
½ tsp of ground cardamom
Zest and juice of 1 lime
6 apricots, stone removed and halved
3 white peaches (you can use regular peaches too), stone removed and quartered
3 white nectarines (same as above), stone removed and quartered
Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 8. Put the sugar, vanilla pod scrapings, cardamom, lime zest and juice into a bowl and mix together. Tip the fruit into a shallow baking dish, then cover with the sludgy sugar.
Roast for 20 to 25 mins until the fruits have softened, but not collapsed and the sugar and fruit juices have made a sticky sauce.
Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.