I have never had this much time to plan a trip. My previous trips to Japan and Turkey afforded me barely a month to plan my itinerary and accommodations. This time, I booked this trip nearly 6 months in advance, when airfare was cheap to Casablanca.
But instead of planning where I will go other than Marrakech, I am studying the Moroccan ways by reading through Moroccan cookbooks. I collected Japanese and Turkish cookbooks after my trips, so I am being proactive here! It is important to know which foods to gravitate towards while travelling. ;)
While browsing though Moroccan Food & Cooking by Ghillie Basan, I spotted these cute apricot parcels with a honey glaze. They were perfect because it is apricot season AND I had leftover scraps of phyllo dough after making baklava.
I loved this recipe because it was very easy to whip together. Apricots are slit in half and stuffed with an almond paste, akin to marzipan, and they are wrapped individually in a piece of phyllo dough. I had long scraps of phyllo dough, so I used 2 long pieces to wrap the apricot. No need for additional butter, just a drizzle of honey. Bake them in the oven to find yourself with a silky, baked apricot with an almond centre and a crisp phyllo coat. Summer simplicity at its best.
This can be served warm or cold, but I preferred these served warm. Leftovers needed to be perked up in the oven to recrisp the phyllo dough.
Apricot Parcels with Honey Glaze
100 g (a bit more than 3/4 cup) ground almonds
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp orange flower or rose water (I used orange flower water)
8 apricots, slit and stoned
2-3 sheets of phyllo dough, cut into 8 circles or squares to wrap the apricots
1 tbsp honey
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Using your hands or a food processor, bind the almonds, sugar and orange flower water to a soft paste.
2. Take small walnut-size lumps of the paste and roll them into balls. Press a ball of paste into each slit apricot and gently squeeze the fruit closed. Mine was oozing out and it was ok. Place a stuffed apricot on a piece of phyllo pastry, fold up the sides to secure the fruit and twist the ends to form an open boat. Repeat with the remaining apricots and phyllo pastry.
3. Place the phyllo parcels in a shallow ovenproof dish and drizzle with honey. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and the fruit has browned on top. Serve hot or cold with cream, creme fraiche, a spoonful of yogurt or for a completely un-Moroccan experience vanilla ice cream (delicious!).