Aged Cheese With Apricot Paste and Toasted Almonds

Recipe by TishT
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READY IN: 3hrs 13mins
SERVES: 6-8
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • Put the apricots in a small bowl and cover with warm water.
  • Cover bowl and set aside 30 minutes.
  • Drain, reserving liquid.
  • Purée plumped apricots in a food processor with 1/3 cup reserved soaking liquid until very smooth.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Put the purée into a small saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.
  • Then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the purée thickens slightly and deepens in color, about 12 minutes.
  • Stir often.
  • If necessary, reduce heat or remove pan from heat for a few moments to avoid scorching.
  • Little by little, sprinkle pectin over the fruit, stirring constantly to help it dissolve.
  • When all the pectin has been stirred in, increase heat to medium-high and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.
  • Transfer to an 8-inch square pan, spreading evenly.
  • Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until fully set, about 2 hours.
  • The paste may be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated, covered.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Put almonds in a small baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and toss to evenly coat.
  • Toast almonds until they begin to turn deep golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  • Stir a few times to brown evenly.
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt and toss to coat.
  • The nuts may be toasted a day ahead and stored in an airtight container.
  • To serve, slice cheese into ½-inch slices or into individual wedges and put to one side of individual serving plates.
  • Cut apricot paste into 2-inch squares or diamonds and set 2 or 3 pieces opposite the cheese, with a small pile of toasted almonds alongside.
  • Note: This dish was inspired by the classic Spanish pairing of manchego cheese, an aged sheep's milk cheese, with quince paste.
  • Other cheeses to consider are a sharp cheddar or other sheep's milk cheeses.
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