apricots with mascarpone

serves 4

8 ripe apricots
2 tbsp cane sugar
200ml prosecco
25ml peach schnapps
Few lemon thyme sprigs
Half a vanilla pod
200g mascarpone
Zest of half a lemon
40g icing sugar, plus extra
1 tbsp mosto cotto or good quality balsamic vinegar

1 Halve the apricots, keeping the stones in the middle, and place in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the sugar, then add the prosecco and schnapps. Add little sprigs of lemon thyme, ensuring that they’re covered by the liquid.

2 Place the dish in the oven, with the grill set to medium. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the apricots are beginning to soften a little and caramelise.

3 In the meantime, remove the seeds from the vanilla pod and mix with the mascarpone, lemon zest and icing sugar. If the mascarpone stiffens up while mixing, add a little full-fat milk or some of the cooking liquid from the apricots.

4 Once ready, remove the apricots from the oven and leave to cool. Pass the liquid through a sieve, then reduce it slightly in a small pan until more syrupy in consistency. Set to one side.
5 Remove the stones from the apricots, then carefully crack each stone and remove the kernel inside. Arrange the apricots on a serving dish, then place dollops of the mascarpone on top.
6 Drizzle with the syrup and a little mosto cotto or balsamic, then garnish with the apricot kernels and a few more lemon thyme tops. Dust with a little more icing sugar to finish.