Dried fruit butters are thick and rich and not only make a perfect filling for some of the pastries that you’ll find in the dessert chapter but they also taste great, simply spread on toast or biscuits, lavished over a layer of cream cheese.
- 2 cups best quality dried whole pitted apricots
- water to cover
- 1/4 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Amaretto (almond flavored liquor), or use lemon juice as a substitute
- 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted blanched (skinned) almonds
To assemble the apricot butter, place the apricots in a 2 1/2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan with enough cold water to cover them and bring the water to a brisk bubble. Reduce the heat to low and simmer apricots gently (uncovered) until soft, 10 to 15 minutes (timing will depend largely on their original suppleness). Drain the apricots and place them into the bowl of the food processor, fitted with the steel blade. Add the brown sugar and the amaretto or lemon juice and process until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the puree to a bowl and stir in the ground toasted almonds. Let the apricot butter cool before storing in the refrigerator, in a well-sealed tub, for up to 3 weeks before using.