Thursday, April 19, 2007

After a Pause, A Pudding

Greetings from cold, rainy Boston, Massachusetts. Yep, that’s right, I am away from Zimbabwe for the moment and am visiting family and friends in the U.S. I thought I would have lots of free time during my trip, free time during which I would cook many delectable African dishes that would win the admiration of many wary-eyed family members, and that I would transform into many wonderful blog posts. The reality: few items have been cooked and, until now, no posts have been written. Instead, I have been wooed by shopping malls and feted by friends, spent hours of drop-jaw gawking at the amazing offerings of Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Wilson Farms, and been re-introduced to the joys of surfing with a fast (as opposed to a 32kbs) internet connection. Ah, the many wonders of the (over)developed world.

I have squeezed in a bit of cooking – not the elaborate feasts I had a mind, but a few dishes here and there, including
these beans, this stew and beetroot pesto pasta. The biggest admirer of every dish has been my 16-month old nephew, who, I’ve learned, will eat and drink absolutely anything. I have seen him gobble up pickles and clams, bite into a fresh lemon, and take a sip of black coffee – and go back each time for another gobble, bite and sip. He may not be discerning, but he is certainly the most adventurous little eater I have ever seen. (Here seen eating the aforementioned pasta).

Thus, it was not surprising that Little Matthew used two hands as he devoured the apricot pudding I made using a recipe from Colette Rossant’s
Apricots on the Nile: A Memoir with Recipes. This dish had other family fans, too, including my mom, who was seen eating a bowl for breakfast and claimed the pudding’s intense apricot flavor become better every day. This dish is a great springtime dessert because of its sunny yellow color – I wish I had made it for Easter, in fact. The most fun part of this recipe is seeing how the dried apricots, after being soaked overnight, actually plump up until they are almost the size of fresh apricots. I was amazed!

Without further ado, here is apricot pudding, a recipe I hope will tide you over until I return to Zimbabwe in mid-May…or until I somehow sneak away from the many distractions vying for my attention to cook and write another post!

Apricot Pudding
Slightly adapted from
Apricots on the Nile
Serves 6 or more

450 grams / 2 cups dried apricots
6 large eggs
90 milliliters / ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
30 milliliters / 2 tablespoons rum
150 grams / ¾ cup sugar

Place the pound dried apricots in a bowl, cover them with warm water, and soak overnight. Drain.

Pre-heat the oven to 180° C / 350° F. Place the apricots, eggs, heavy cream, rum and sugar in a food processor. Process until the apricots are puréed. Butter a 1½ liter / 1½ -quart mold, and pour the apricot purée into the mold. Place the mold in a larger pan filled with hot water. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the point of a knife inserted in the middle of the pudding comes out clean. Cool.

I’m sure this is pudding heresy, but I didn’t unmold the pudding after it cooled; instead, I served scoops straight from the mold. Unmold if you wish! Rossant suggests garnishing with mint leaves.


AK said...

Very nice! And I happen to have apricots plumping in lemon right now ... except they're slated for something else. But I love the sound of this, very 'summery' when summer fruit's not yet available. Enjoy your stay!

shadle said...

you guys headed to Chapel Hill on this trip? welcome home! ;)

annemarie said...

Hi Carolyn, sounds like you are having a great time at home... It would be lovely to taste this lovely pudding when your back in Zim. We miss your company! Enjoy your leave and give my best regards to Mark.

Love, Annemarie

Anna said...

i hope to god i have children who are adventurous eaters!

that apricot dessert sounds dreamy.

enjoy your time with your family.

Jeanne said...

What a lovely-sounding dessert. I am a sucker for apricots, fresh, dried or tinned and this recipe sounds delightfully easy. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your time with family & friends.

Fernando Olmos said...

It's my first time checking a blog from your country, but yours is amazing... very well-done

checK mine at