On a recent trip to Kelowna, my main focus was not on wine, but rather on the bountiful fruit which the Okanagan Valley offers. We brought home almost 20 pounds of cherries and more importantly, 10 pounds of apricots. They were the most perfect apricots, found at Gatzke Farm Market in Oyama, on a 34 degree Celsius Sunday afternoon on our way to lunch at Gray Monk Winery.
Unfortunately, I was so dazzled by the beauty of these perfectly ripe apricots that I failed to consider the heat and 36 additional hours which the apricots would be enduring before arriving back home in Vancouver. These blushing orbs of apricot perfection became dented weeping lumps over the next few days, still delicious to eat, dripping down my elbow over the kitchen sink, but too unsightly to photograph for your viewing pleasure.
Not surprisingly, we could not eat them fast enough and so I cooked them down to a puree and made apricot pâte de fruit and apricot ice cream. The pâte de fruit was slightly thinner than I had wanted so I added a second layer of strawberry pâte de fruit. On my first trip to Pierre Hermé, I remember marveling at the bejeweled two-toned pâtes de fruits. In retrospect, adding a second layer and thus flavour is so easy and elementary. In fact, if you have made Rainbow Jell-O before, the concept is identical!