Apricots are available throughout the summer season as they grow in wild abundance in the hills. I have seen fruit laden trees on the road sides, on the hill slopes and in backyards all over Himachal and Uttarakhand. People sun dry Apricots, keep the kernels for oil extraction and even grind the sun dried apricots to make a coarse powder and use it like amchoor powder. It is really interesting to see how ingeniously the seasonal fruits are used in different parts of the world. I got to know about an apricot chutney the last I was in the hills. That chutney will be shared shortly. It is a dessert without sugar for now.
I was talking to someone how I like my desserts very mildly sweetened and often without any sugar when I got a funny reaction. Oh you eat your desserts without sugar?
Yes why not?
Nature intended desserts in such a way and that is how the fruits must be valued. We got addicted to sugar much later and it has caused more harm than any dessert can tackle. Desserts are known to make people happier, let them be natural most of the times. This grilled apricot halves with sour cream and litchi honey is one of those desserts.
We get 2 varieties of apricots here in India. The green variety which is very juicy with a little thick skin and a yellow variety with pink blush that has a very thin skin and creamy flesh. This one is the yellow variety.
These yellow apricots are so soft that they can be split open with fingers when ripe. It is a highly perishable fruit once ripe and that is the reason you don't get apricots too cheap once you move away from the hills. In Delhi we are lucky to get them in abundance and fairly cheap. This batch was 80 rupees a kilo.
I would suggest having them fresh as much as you can. Fresh ripe apricots are great desserts on their own or can be had as snack in between meals like any other fruit. Apricots are very rich in Vitamin A and C, Potassium and some Iron, the fruits are anti inflammatory and rich in antioxidants too. Read more nutritional information here. This fruit is particularly rich in soluble fiber that help lower LDL cholesterol. Imagine using such a nutritious fruit for a dessert without sugar.
This grilled apricot halves with sour cream and litchi honey uses only 4 ingredients and takes just 5 minutes to grill and another 5 minutes to assemble if you have sour cream prepared at home or store bought. I always make sour cream at home.
a dozen apricots halved and stone removed
sour cream 1/4 cup or mascarpone, feta cheese if you are making an appetiser with this
litchi honey or any honey you like 1 tbsp (optional)
mint leaves to garnish
Grill the halved apricots as you broil on top shelf in your oven or place a wire rack on gas stove and grill on flame. Grill cut side towards heat fist and then turn after 30 seconds or so but take care not to let the apricots get mushy. Few grill marks would be great to have on them.
Arrange all the grilled apricots on a platter, spoon small dollops of sour cream and place a leaf of mint over it. Drizzle good quality honey over all the apricots, mine was unpasteurized organic litchi honey.
I made this platter when my younger brother and his wife were visiting this weekend and it vanished before I could blink my eyes. Literally.
And then I suggested another serving with the apricot jam topping. This version would suit more for those who want their desserts very sweet.
Thankfully I had more fresh apricots at home. The sour cream was frozen as I had made it last month and had not used it all as I was travelling in between. Frozen and then thawed sour cream gets a little grainy but the taste is the same creamy with a sour hint.
If you are planning these small flavour bombs for a sweeter dessert, use mascarpone or just whipped fresh cream along with some herb or roasted nuts.
You will not be surprised with this dessert without sugar I am sure. And it is so simple to assemble once you have the ingredients.
Or if you are planning to serve it as appetiser you know you need some salty feta cheese and may be some fine sea salt sprinkling on it too. I wouldn't mind a dash of basil or rocket pesto over it if it makes an appetiser.
Enjoy the versatile recipe and see how many ways you like it. Do variations, swap the cheeses, sprinkle nus or honey of your choice or just douse with pesto or hot chilly sauce if you like. Fruits are a gift of god we must do justice. Don't kill them with sugar.
Making jams and preserves is better as they can be used as flavorings in small amounts. I had made these jars of apricot jam last month and Arvind has polished off one jar already.
I am not worried as I make these jams with minimal sugar and refrigerate to preserve them for long time. Every season has some or the other fresh fruit so make jams with minimal sugar each season and don't plan to make them last the whole year. Enjoy seasonal fruits.
You might like this khubani ka meetha too. This Indian dessert with fresh or sun dried apricots is a stewed apricots served with fresh cream. Yummy.