Did you know that part of the reason it’s hard to find a tasty apricot is that the largest orchards in California used to be where Silicon Valley is now? This was the ideal place for apricots to grow, so sadly, we will never taste that particular fruit again. Cooking is the best way to make both the texture and flavor of less than perfect fruit better. The texture becomes more juicy and the flavor intensifies. If you have really good apricots, skip the caramelizing and simply macerate sliced apricots in a bit of sugar and lemon juice until they are juicy.
- Servings: Serves 6
- In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 Tbsp of the superfine sugar and set aside.
- Heat the oven to 300⁰F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on low speed. As the eggs begin to get foamy, increase the speed gradually to high. Gradually add the remaining 1/ 2 cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff, shiny peaks form. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold the vanilla and vinegar gently into the meringue with a rubber spatula. Sift in the sugar-cornstarch mixture in 2 additions, folding gently but thoroughly each time.
- Evenly scoop 6 mounds of meringue on to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a spoon, make a little depression in the center of each one. Bake for 10 minutes and then lower the heat to 225⁰F. Bake for 1 hour more, turn off the oven and let the meringues cool in the oven for several hours or overnight.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with the sugar and cook until the sugar melts, 2-3 minutes. Add the apricots cut-side down and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Turn them over and cook the other side 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate, skin-side up to let cool slightly. Slip off the skins and discard.
- To serve, place a meringue on each of 6 plates. Divide the frozen yogurt evenly among them and top each with two apricot halves or two peach quarters.