So my first post of 2009 is a very simple one, a lovely compote that can be used to top anything you wish, porridge (as I've done here), ice cream, yogurt, made into a fool or eaten on it's own.
We've been thinking about trying to be more frugal about things this year, it being recessionary times and all and I also need something more exciting to put on top of my porridge in the mornings at work. I eat porridge every day, 1 because it's cheap and a bag of organic oats lasts me ages and 2 cos I don't get hungry til lunchtime which is a bonus when people are nipping out to the cafe around the corner and bringing back lovely toast and bagels and coffee.
I got the Ballymaloe Cookery Course book from my favouritest cousin C a few months ago and while flicking through it at bedtime (and only having made 2 things from it so far) the other night I saw the recipe for this apricot and cardamom compote and thought it might be nice. In advance the apricots I got were semi-dried and lovely and moist, if you get fully dried ones you'll need to soak them in plenty of water overnight before you make this.
So here's what you need:
500g dried apricots (the original recipe calls for 225g but this looked like a tiny amount in the syrup so I threw in a second bag of apricots)
16 cardamom pods (again I couldn't resist tinkering with the original recipe which called for 12)
2 pints water
200g sugar (the original recipe says 200-400g but I didn't want my compote to be too sweet so used less)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Put the water, sugar, cardamom and lemon juice into a pot and bring to the boil. Add the apricots and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Allow to cool and serve with whatever you want or else do what I did and put the apricots into jars and refrigerate. Enjoy!!
Oh and p.s I got a 50mm lens for my camera and a tripod for christmas and they're the business!! Not blowing my own horn or anything but am loving the first picture, it was a long exposure from above and it came out fantastically as my hands always shook before and I rarely could shoot any pics if the light wasn't perfect!! One of the best presents I got this year methinks!!!