Cooking with Wine: Butternut Chardonnay Poached Apricots

Jul 15, 2019

Apricots and Chardonnay pair for the perfect sweet, tart dessert on a balmy Summer afternoon.

Like most everyone else, we had a long winter this year, followed by 3 days of spring, and a surprise return of winter, which quickly turned into summer.  It was during one of those surprise winter days, we started discussing comfort foods for those cold rainy days.  We got excited and started to share recipes with each other. We love wine, and we also love cooking.  So, why not cook with wine?  Getting to eat the fruits of our labor with a nice glass of wine is a great side benefit.  With that, our new blog series was born.

We’ll be testing out recipes using wine in the ingredients and sharing them with all of you.  Hopefully they’re all good.  In the spirit of sharing and collaboration, we’ll let you know if a recipe doesn’t work out.  Maybe one of you will have an idea that will turn a flop into a home run.  If you get inspired to start your own cooking with wine journey, which is the big goal, let us know and share your recipes with us!

We had intended to start with a simple Beurre blanc, but got inspired during a weekend visit to our local Napa Farmer’s Market.  We bought Apricots from our favorite stone fruit farmer, Bera Ranch out of Winters, CA.  Michelle Bera helped us pick out perfectly ripe Apricots, that were delicious all on their own.  We wanted to highlight their flavors with a little wine.

 Inspired by our own wine, we decided to experiment a little.  We poached the Apricots in our Butternut Chardonnay.  Then, we continued cooking the wine to make a syrup to pour over the cooked fruit.  The sweet and tart flavors of the warm Apricots were amplified by the vanilla notes in the wine syrup.  It was the perfect dessert for the hot, Summer evening.  We added some basil to brighten the flavors and cut the sweetness a little.   Let us know if you like the recipe and if you made any changes to it.  Happy Cooking!

Butternut Chardonnay Poached Apricots

  • 4-6 Apricots, halved
  • 1 Cup Butternut Chardonnay
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • 2-3 Basil Sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  1. Pour the Chardonnay and sugar into a med/large skillet (10” or so), at medium heat.  Stir to dissolve the sugar as you wait for the liquid to come to a gently simmer.
  2. Add the Apricots, cut side down.  Simmer them in the wine for about 4 minutes- long enough to cook through, but not long enough to turn them mushy.  Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the Apricots and place them in a serving dish and set aside.
  3. Simmer the wine at low heat for another 5-10 minutes, until slightly thickened and a deep golden color.
  4. Pour the syrup over the Apricots and add the basil leaves to taste.

We served these right away, while still warm, but you could easily store/marinate them in the refrigerator for a few days. 

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