The Languedoc-Roussillon region enjoys superb weather, and the almond and apricot trees thrive here. I like to use special rectangular financier or friand moulds, but you can also use small muffin moulds.
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 80 g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, halved
- 12 apricots, halved, stones removed (or tinned apricots, if out of season)
- 50 g almond meal
- 50 g plain flour, sifted
- 4 egg whites
- 90 g good-quality butter
- 6 raspberries
- 24 pistachios, halved
- 2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted
- icing sugar, for dusting
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the lemon juice, 30 g caster sugar, and half the vanilla bean in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the apricot. Cover and cook until apricot is soft. Transfer apricot to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter 6 friand moulds or 8 holes of a muffin tin.
Split remaining vanilla bean in half lengthways and scrape seeds. Add bean and seeds to remaining sugar and stir to combine.
In another bowl, combine vanilla sugar, almond meal and flour. Lightly whisk the egg whites until soft peaks, then gently fold in the dry ingredients.
Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Add butter to flour mixture. Spoon or pipe batter into prepared moulds. Top each with 1 raspberry and 6 pistachio halves. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until friand springs back when pressed lightly with finger tip.
Place 3 apricot halves on each serving plate. Add a friand. Scatter with flaked almonds and dust with icing sugar. Serve.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Alice Storey.
Props by Hayden Youlley Design.
In-video photography by Peter Warren.