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Summer Treats to Beat the Heat

The long awaited classic signs of summer have started for me this year. Peaches and apricots, both so sweet and juicy, are in the Farmers market now. I love seeing them piled into inviting baskets along the roadside fruit stands that dot the city landscape during the summer months.

I think I am not the only one enjoying being bombarded with long hot sunny days, lounging on the deck in the late evening chatting with my family while enjoying a chilled refreshing bowl of Sorbet. So, that leaves me no option but to grab these smooth velvety skinned fruits and devise some summer joy to try and beat the heat. I had some ginger in the pantry and thought that its warm citrus-like flavor would spike the fruit to the perfect level. I then decided to throw some tarragon in at the final stage. Stirring the softening apricots as they simmer on the stove, and smelling the sweet caramelizing scent of the peaches roasting in the oven, I decide that a little crispy cookie on the side would be a nice complement to the sorbet. I am thinking that the often forgotten pistachio nut with its rich and nutty taste will be perfect with the sweet sorbet, so I created a recipe for pistachio cookies as well.

Even though you can usually get frozen apricots and peaches all year round, when I saw the fresh items it screamed summer to me. I hope you get inspired to create your own summer treats and try these recipes today.

Ginger Infused Apricot Peach Sorbet with Fresh Tarragon

½ cup sugar

¼ cup wild honey

½ cup water

6 fresh apricots or ⅔ cup dried apricots

1 tbsp. fresh ginger grated

8 large fresh peaches

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. fresh tarragon finely chopped

In a medium sized heavy saucepan combine the sugar, wild honey, water, apricots and the grated ginger. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium high and simmer stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture simmer for 8 minutes then remove from the heat and let sit for 1 hour to allow the apricots to soften.

Meanwhile, place the whole peaches on a parchment lined baking sheet then bake in a 350°F oven for 1 hour allowing them to caramelize and soften. Remove from the oven and let them cool until they are safe to handle. Peel the skin off and pit the peaches then place in the body of a food processor. Add the apricot mixture, lemon juice and vanilla then puree until smooth. Force the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any pulp, discard the pulp. Stir the chopped tarragon into the fruit mixture and chill in a shallow pan for 2 hours.

Transfer to an ice cream maker container and let it cycle until cold and thickened. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze. You can make this recipe without the use of an ice cream maker and simply freeze the sorbet but the ice cream maker thickens it nicely if you have one.

Pistachio Crisp Cookies

¾ cup flour

¼ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. nutmeg

1½ cups large flake old-fashioned oats

8 tbsp. unsalted butter

½ cup sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

½ tsp. vanilla extract

¾ cup salted pistachios (coarsely chopped)

Heat oven to 350°F

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and oats. Stir to combine and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the sugar and the butter. Whip on high for two minutes until fluffy, then add the egg and vanilla. Whip for an additional five minutes until fluffy and light in color. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold in the pistachios, then scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet placing 2 inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are browned. Remove from the oven and cool on a bakers rack for 5 minutes.

Serve with Apricot Peach sorbet or enjoy separately.

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