Apricot, Fig and Pear Stew with Chia

This tart and spicy stew made with fresh apricots, figs and pears, I consider the best accidental dessert/preserve I made in a long time. We bought plenty of fresh figs to eat, and apricots to make my favourite preserve, but when I tasted figs, they were not as juicy as I wanted them to be. These figs stewed with apricots and some left over pears made an amazing thick, nearly jam like, dessert. I used sugar and honey for sweetness, cinnamon stick, deseeded vanilla bean and lemon peel to add flavour and spice.

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This dessert can be served with whipped cream or coconut cream, if you prefer dairy free option.

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It is also excellent as a sauce for gluten free ice-cream, both vanilla and chocolate variety.

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Ingredients:

  • 600-700g pitted apricots
  • 1 pear (135g)
  • 8-10 fresh figs (330g)
  • 225g sugar
  • 50g honey
  • fresh peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 table spoon lemon juice
  • 200-300ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 deseeded vanilla bean
  • 40g white chia seeds

Water, sugar and honey quantities can be changed, depending on apricot and fig sweetness, and the tartness of this dessert you want to achieve. Start with 200ml water and see how much juice fruits release. With very dry fruits extra water might be needed.

Preparation:

  • wash and dry on paper towel all fruits
  • peel lemon skin with vegetable peeler in strips
  • cut all fruits in wedges
  • place all fruits in a sauce pan
  • add water, sugar, honey, lemon peel, lemon juice, cinnamon stick and half of deseeded vanilla bean (2 photos below show stew preparation based only on honey as a sweetener)
  • I like to split cinnamon stick and vanilla bean in several pieces to achieve better extraction of flavours during cooking

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  • cook on medium heat until fruits release all the juices
  • add water if necessary, all fruits have to be submerged in runny liquid

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  • reduce heat to low and cook  until pear slices and fig wedges become translucent, most apricot wedges would disintegrate by that time
  • add chia seeds, stir
  • cook for another 5-6 min on low heat
  • let the stew cool in a sauce pan if used as dessert

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  • transfer, while still hot, to clean jars, cover with lid, let them cool on a benchtop and store refrigerated for 2-3 weeks

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They may last more refrigerated, but in our household they do not last longer. I like this thick stew served with whipped cream and pistachios. Serving this stew on top of chocolate gluten free Bulla ice-cream  makes heavenly dessert. I like it quite tart, but feel free to adjust the level of sweetness by adding either extra sugar or honey. Ripe apricots thickened the stew and with chia seeds provided wonderful texture to this amber coloured dessert.

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