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Vanilla and Apricot Bavarois

ingredients

serves 4
1/2 cup (100 g) 4 oz dried apricots
pinch of allspice
450 ml (3/4 pint) milk
vanilla pod
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup (75 g) 3oz vanilla sugar (see below)
20 ml (4 level tsp) gelatine
1 1/4 cup (1/2 pint) 300 ml fresh double cream, (heavy cream). canned apricot halves to decorate

method

1. Soak the apricots in cold water overnight. Simmer in fresh water with allspice, covered, for about 1 hour until tender. Drain, reserving 60 ml (4 tbsp) liquid and puree fruit in a blender with the reserved juice. Cool.

2. Heat the milk with the vanilla pod until almost boiling. Remove the pod. Whisk together the yolks and sugar until thick; add the milk, stirring. Return to the pan and cook over a low heat without boiling until the custard thickens. Cool.

3. Soak the gelatine in 60 ml (4 tbsp) water in a small bowl. Dissolve by standing the bowl in a pan of gently simmering water. Stir into the cooled custard with the apricot puree.

4. Chill until on point of setting. Whip the fresh cream until softly stiff then quickly fold half into the apricot custard. Turn into a dampened 900 ml (1 1/2 pint) mould or souffle dish and chill to set.

5. Turn out and decorate with the remaining fresh cream and apricots.

Note: To make vanilla sugar, leave a vanilla pod in the caster sugar jar (kept specially)

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