Recipe: Apricot and Orange Sweetmeats

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’re doing Pericles tomorrow, which means I am cooking like a maniac to prepare a middle-eastern themed feast, and my head is full of lists of things to make, things to decorate, things that need to be set out, things that need to be soaked, things that need to be rolled in pastry and baked, and things that need to be written down into lists so that I don’t forget to do them

Also, I am beginning to fear that I am actually making far too much food, a statement that should strike fear into the heart of anyone who has seen the amount of food I produce when I think there might not be enough…

Anyway, I just invented these sweetmeats which are easy and delicious and should surely have been invented by someone much cleverer than me already, but just in case they haven’t, I’m writing them down before I forget.  The orange flower water is a stroke of genius, if I say so myself – to me, it always has a faint hint of apricot, and a faint hint of orange, too, as well as its perfumed scent, and it really works here to unite the ingredients.

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350 g Turkish dried apricots (the soft kind)
150 g glacé orange slices
1 tsp orange flower water
icing sugar to dust

Now what will you do with it?

Put everything except the icing sugar in a food processor and blitz until it comes together into a ball (this takes a few minutes in mine).

Pour icing sugar into a shallow bowl.

With slightly damp hands, take pinches of the mixture and roll into balls the size of a small marble.  The mixture is very soft and sticky, but damp hands will prevent it sticking to you too much.  Drop the balls into the icing sugar, and roll to coat, then toss from hand to hand to remove the excess.

Drop into a pretty bowl and serve. I’d think these would keep for at least a week, and probably longer – everything they have in them is preserved anyway.


These are already vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and relatively low-GI.  They won’t ever be low in fructose, however.

You could make some fig and coriander sweetmeats at the same time – blitz 500g of dried figs as above, and toss in ground coriander (these really are low-GI, as they only have the sugar inherent in the figs).  Dates work quite well, too, and you could add a little rosewater and toss them in cinnamon.  The apricot ones would work well rolled in coconut.  I’d like to try this with dried cherries and pistachios, too, maybe.


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