Spiced Apricots With Fresh Cheese & Honey. This is such a simple and perfectly balanced breakfast. The sweetness of the honey, the savoury depth of the ricotta, the warmth of the spiced apricots. It’s as gentle as it is bold. Awesome with a garden sage tea.
As a kid, my mum would make me stewed apricots, and we would have them with cheese and honey on toast. We were pretty weird. Then I met Matt, and he told me about this magical breakfast he had of stewed apricots and cheese in Iran. And he said he could eat it daily, and that it was one of the best breakfasts ever. And then we made it at home one day and realised we were talking about the same dish! And it all made sense.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1 sage sprig
1 1⁄2 tablespoons unrefined sugar (e.g. rapadura)
6 large ripe apricots (about 400 g in total), halved and pitted
1⁄2 teaspoon unrefined salt
juice of 1⁄2 lemon
To Serve (quantities are per person)
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped almonds
a pinch of unrefined sugar (e.g. rapadura)
a pinch of unrefined salt
100 g fresh cacioricotta, fresh cheese or ricotta
1 plain sourdough flatbread or similar
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low–medium heat. Once the foam subsides, add the spices and sage and fry gently until fragrant. Add the sugar and stir until melted, taking care not to burn the sugar. Add the apricots and salt and gently stir until coated. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, gently toast the almonds with the sugar and salt in a small frying pan over medium heat, then set aside.
After 5 minutes, uncover the apricots, reduce the heat a little and simmer for another 5 minutes. Don’t stir, as the apricots are very fragile at this stage and will break apart if you do. If the mixture is too dry to simmer uncovered (some apricots have more liquid, some less), add a touch of water. The mix should look like apricots swimming in a thick, sticky sauce. Once ready, remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and gently stir through.
To serve, place the cheese in bowls and top with the apricots. Finish with a sprinkle of almonds, a drizzle of honey and a flatbread on the side. Forget the cutlery—scoop with your flatbread for the full experience!
The spiced apricots taste even better the next day. We often make a double batch so that we’ll have plenty left over and can eat the whole dish cold the next morning. Double joy.
The Village by Matt and Lentil, Published by Plum, RRP $45.00, Photography by Shantanu Starick