Eat & Drink It 

Got fruit? Tasty ways to dispense with your sweet haul.

Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Cardamom Apricots

Served cold, this is a refreshing end to a meal of strong flavors, such as Indian food. This recipe calls for making your own coconut milk, which yields a subtler flavor. If pressed for time, substitute one cup canned coconut milk diluted with half a cup of regular milk or water. Make this pudding up to two days before serving, but prepare the cardamom apricots no more than three hours before sitting down to dine.

Ingredients:
4 ounces dried, sweetened coconut,about 1 cup
2 cups boiling water
Half a vanilla bean, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds scraped with a knife blade
2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg, separated
3 tablespoons instant tapioca
12 small, ripe apricots
1/4 cup sugar, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Fresh lime juice optional
Mint sprigs

Make the coconut milk by placing the dried coconut in a medium bowl and adding the boiling water. Soak thirty minutes and transfer to a blender. Blend at high speed for one minute.

Pour the mixture into a sieve lined with two or three layers of dampened cheesecloth. Let most of the liquid drain before carefully gathering up the ends of the cloth and squeezing out the liquid that remains.

Set aside the resulting milk and discard the solids. You should have one and a half cups of coconut milk.

Mix the seeds from the vanilla bean with the sugar and set aside.

Place the egg white in a mixing bowl and whisk until lightly frothy.

Add the vanilla sugar and continue whisking until the mixture looks very shiny and holds a soft peak. Set aside.

Drop the egg yolk into a medium saucepan, stirring briefly with a wooden spoon.

Add the tapioca and coconut milk and let sit five minutes.

Cook the pudding over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture achieves a pronounced boil.

Remove from heat and add the egg-white mixture, stirring until the streaks of egg disappear.

Set aside until the pudding is a warm room temperature (about thirty minutes).

Scrape into a large serving bowl or individual dishes, press plastic film directly onto the surface, and refrigerate from one hour to two days.

Cuteach apricot into four wedges and discard the pits. To avoid smashing them, arrange the wedges in a single layer in a wide dish.

Sprinkle with the sugar and cardamom and set aside for fifteen minutes to three hours. Just before serving, taste an apricot, adding additional sugar to taste, and perhaps a few drops of lime juice to intensify the flavor.

Spoon a few wedges on each serving of pudding and garnish with mint. Serves six.


Peach Sangria

Most sangrias end up as bruised-looking fruit salad in dark, murky liquid. By limiting yourself to just one type of fruit, you can pull together a summer cooler with a sweet little focus — in this case, the almond-blossom aroma of tree-ripened peaches. Choose your wine with care, avoiding reds with pronounced oak and heavy tannins. Think simple, fruity, and young: Dolcetto, Beaujolais, or bare-bones Merlot.

Ingredients:
3 medium-size peaches, ripe but not too soft
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
5 tablespoons sugar
1 bottle red wine
Sparkling water or club soda
1 lime, sliced thin

Boil a medium pot of water.

Place a large bowl of ice water near the stove.

Drop the peaches in the boiling water until their skins loosen (fifteen to twenty seconds), then immediately drop them into the ice water to cool.

Remove after a few seconds and peel off the skins.

Cut the fruit away from the pits and dice into half-inch cubes. Set aside.

In a large glass pitcher, combine the lime juice and sugar, and stir to dissolve.

Add the wine and stir.

Taste to see if it has the right balance of sweetness and acidity; add more lime juice or sugar to taste.

Add the diced peaches and refrigerate at least thirty minutes, but no longer than three hours, or the sangria's freshness and perfume will begin to fade.

Serve in glasses, with ice if you wish, along with some of the diced peaches.

Top off with sparkling water to taste, stir, and garnish with lime slices. Serves four to six.

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