Throughout the Middle East, the usual conclusion to a family meal is fresh fruit, and dried fruit and nuts or fruit preserves are offered with coffee. This simple, fragrant dessert (pronounced kho-SHAF beel mish-Mish), with macerated--rather than cooked--dried fruit, is a Syrian speciality of the Muslim month Ramadan, when it's eaten to break the daily fast. Rose water is the distilled essence of rose petals, a distinguishing flavor of Middle Eastern puddings and pastries (as is orange blossom water).
3 cups boiling water
2 1/2 cups dried apricots
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios, toasted
1 teaspoon rose water (optional)
How to Make It
Combine water and apricots in a medium bowl; soak 5 minutes. Strain apricots in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid. Place reserved liquid, 1/2 cup apricots, and sugar in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into bowl. Stir in apricots, raisins, and remaining ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Made this for my family to go with cornish hens and wild rice. They found it "interesting", good but not great. The best part is the toasted nuts - they go very well with the sweet sauce and add a nice crunch. I didn't have rose water, so I threw a couple of cardamom pods in the water when I brought it to a boil. If I made this dish again, I would definitely chop up the apricots.
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