Got Apricot? Five ways to use the summer’s newest superstar ingredient

Got Apricot? Five ways to use the summer’s newest superstar ingredient

Orange alert: the surprisingly versatile apricot is in season for a limited time only (Photo by Simon Aughton)

Though apricots may seem like unlikely culinary hotshots the now in-season fruit is the new obsession of some of the city’s top chefs. The Ontario harvest will be staggered over two to three weeks, including prized specimens from the Niagara escarpment. Our list of five innovative apricot dishes from local restos, after the jump.

Table 17 pastry chef David Friedman tops his fresh and flakey scones with a homemade apricot marmalade and rich cream. The fruit is cooked down with simple syrup, fresh bay leaves and a little pucker-inducing citrus rind.

C5 general manager and sommelier Steven Sousa offers a seasonal twist on the bellini. Sousa combines fresh-squeezed apricot juice and diced fruit with slightly acidic Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catherin sparkling wine, garnished with a coin-sized slice. The kitchen has also started preserving the first batch of produce for the fall’s charcuterie plates.

• In keeping with his reputation as a gastronomic architect, chef Claudio Aprile plates apricots in his dizzyingly complex deconstructed cheesecake. A saucy version of the fruit is the top coat to a serpentine pattern of caramel cheesecake mousse and powdered crusts (classic graham cracker and chocolate).

• At Scaramouche, the fruit comes in the form of a light and airy whipped egg white lemon chiffon cake. Zesty citrus–poached apricots and roasted plums are served with a dollop of chantilly and a pavlova meringue.

• Chef Anne Yarymowich plates the fruit two ways at Frank. The first is savoury, placed alongside the house pork pâté. Apricots are poached, cooked with onion, puréed and mixed with dijon and a dab of pommery to make a tangy mustard. For a sweeter incarnation, try the upside down apricot and almond polenta cake served with apricot coulis and sabayon made from the fruit’s own poaching broth. Yarymowich is also busy canning and preserving for an apricot emergency, which, she says “always arises.”