This simple but delicious apricot preparation embodies The Cooks’ House aesthetic of accentuating natural flavors with minimal manipulation. This dish makes a great dessert or intermezzo course and is taken from the “Fancy Late Spring Lunch” section of Eric Patterson and Jennifer Blakeslee’s new cookbook, Cooks’ House: The Art and Soul of Local, Sustainable Cuisine.
Mix the sugar, wine and ½ cup water in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir well until the sugar dissolves. Add the ginger and the vanilla. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the apricots and simmer 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat, add the zest and allow to cool. When the mixture has cooled, remove the apricots. Cut them in half and discard the pits. Put the apricots back into the sauce.
To Serve: Divide the apricots into bowls and spoon over some of the sauce. Serves 6.