How can it already be the middle of August? As if the Dog Days are quickening and we’re falling into September . . . so, should you come across any ripe apricots, on a tree or in a market, I urge you to make sorbet. The recipe:
2 pounds tree-ripened apricots*
water (1/2 to 1 1/2 cups, depending on the apricots)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange flavored cognac
Remove seeds and slice the apricots into smaller pieces (halves or thirds or quarters depending on the size). Place sliced apricots in pan with water and bring to boil then simmer for a few minutes (stirring a few times) until the apricots are soft. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Cool to room temperature — putting the pan in a bowl of ice water speeds this process. Now strain the apricot mix. A food mill is fast, a strainer takes more pushing. Finally, stir in the liquor and pour the apricot puree into a shallow bowl or casserole dish and put it in the freezer. Stir every couple hours.
In my moderately cold freezer, the apricot sorbet was frozen enough to eat in about four hours, each bite offering a conglomeration of summer: enough fragrant frozen taste to calm an overheated August day.
Makes about a quart.
* Apricots with skin imperfections are fine since the skins are mostly separated out when the pulp is put through the strainer or food mill.