Prep Time: 20 minutes total + resting
Cook Time: 12-13 minutes
Keywords: bake broil appetizer gluten-free low-carb soy-free sugar-free stone fruit butter pancetta pecans British summer
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 4 large apricots or apriums or plumcots, possibly organic, ripe, but with firm flesh
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary needles
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 1 ounce / 30 g pecans, lightly toasted in a dry skillet or in the oven, cooled and minced
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon / 15 g unsalted butter, melted
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 ounces / 55 g pancetta thinly slice
Note 1: the parcels' flavor and texture depend on the fruit used. Apricots and apriums are sweeter than plumcots. Apriums' texture is close to that of apricots. Plumcots' skin is closer to that of plums. Emrbace those differences: try different varieties of fruit, including, if you find them, plum varieties whose stone comes away easily. The original recipe calls for damsons, greengages or Victoria plums.
Note 2: I use what we call pancetta arrotolata (rolled). I ask the butcher to cut it thin. In Italy we also have pancetta tesa (flat). The original recipe calls for Crown & Queue's Black-pepper Cured Pork Belly, which from the photo of the dish in the cookbook looks like pancetta tesa. You won't need the whole quantity, but once you have it you can use in other dishes. Pancetta is so good!
Heat the oven to 350 F / 177 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Rinse the fruit, cut in half and remove the stone. (The original recipe calls for cutting a small circle off the bottom, so the plums will sit flat when placed with their stone holes up, but I did not find that necessary with the fruit I used.)
In a small bowl or ramekin, combine the ginger, rosemary, garlic and pecans. Add the lemon juice and butter, and season lightly with salt and pepper (bear in mind that the pancetta will contribute its seasoning to the dish). Stir well.
Spoon the mixture into the fruit's stone holes to form small mounds. Carefully lay slices of pancetta over each fruit half. Place the resulting parcels on the lined baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the pancetta begins to soften and melt and the stuffing is hot (8-10 minutes).
Increase the oven temperature to 425 F / 218 C and if possible switch to broil. Continue to cook the parcels until the pancetta begins to crisp and the fruit begins to sizzle.