alice waters made the peach famous. she believed that the summer ones were perfect and served, at chez panisse, a simple unadorned peach for dessert. it opened up a world of new thought in food - the concept that it didn't need to be changed and transformed every time - that sometimes ingredients were perfect as they already were. this is sort of a riff on that theme.
i eat apricots all summer long but i like them best in june when they're sweet as sugar and bursting at the seams with juice. when it ruins the front of all my white shirts by running down my mouth to my chin to my chest. i pick them up at farmers markets by bowling green or local stores like trader joes' or brooklyn fare. i have to admit that trader joe's gives me a pile for $2. it's a steal.
this is the ideal summer dessert. it's too blindingly hot to turn the oven on in a tiny apartment, so instead this is quick and simple. barely dressing up what is already, quite honestly, perfect.
3 apricots, halved and pitted
2 strawberries, quartered
1 pint water
1 cup sweet white wine, like riesling
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp herbes d'provence
2 tbsp vanilla extract
salt to taste
honey creme fraiche
1/4 cup creme fraiche
2 tbsp honey
black pepper and salt to taste
combine all ingredients from water to salt in a pot and bring to a boil. allow to reduce by half. add apricots and poach 1-3 minutes or until soft and the skin is starting to peel. remove apricots and reduce the syrup until thick, about by half more.
combine creme fraiche ingredients in a separate bowl.
lay a spoonful of creme fraiche down and arrange poached peaches and strawberries. drizzle the reduced syrup over top.