Apricots are finally in season! Their arrival is very exciting, as being one of the first signs of British summer they are like a gentle reminder of past holidays. Food has an incredible ability to bring back fond family memories and sticky hot summer days.

I remember my dad’s old Ford Cortina. He used to pack it like an old Indian bus you see in old films with stuff sticking out of windows and roped to the roof: suitcases, body boards, wind breakers, fishing rods and a map that somehow was always misleading. In this chaos my mum would smuggle a punnet of musky apricots, divinely soft and juicy. That was an ultimate reward for the tiresomeness of the 10 hours journey to Holyhead in Wales (M1 existed only in plans then).

Apricots are very versatile, making great jams and chutneys, enhancing lamb or pork dishes and great for tarts and desserts. We love ours poached and served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, a quenelle of crème fraiche or a dollop of Greek yogurt and granola for a very healthy summer breakfast. The recipe is so simple yet so rewarding you have to try to make the most of the short apricot season.


  • 500g fresh, ripe apricots, cut in half, stone removed


  • 500g water
  • 500g granulated sugar
  • 2 zests of lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Good sprinkle dried rose petals (optional)


  • Ready-made granola
  • 1 spring of lavender
  • 1 good scoop of vanilla ice-cream, crème fraiche or Greek yogurt


Bring all poaching ingredients to simmer and allow sugar to dissolve, then leave on side for 30 minutes to infuse. Return to the stove, add halved apricots and bring back to a gentle simmer. Poach gently for 8 to 10 minutes or until the skin softens. At this point remove from the heat and cool down. Place in a sealed container overnight for the best results and flavour infusion.


Bring out 20 minutes before serving, place as much as you like in a bowl, top with picked lavender, granola and poaching liquor.