Apricot Sweet Paste
About the Recipe
Kayisi pasado is a tart confection, made from dried apricots, that sets as a jelly like paste served cut into amber-hued wedges topped with walnuts. The Sephardim from Rhodes love these sweet bites full of concentrated apricot flavor.
Kayisi is easy to make but does require a pair of sturdy hands to stir the paste on the stove top.
I like to offer this delightful and addictive apricot candy with a herbal tea or strong coffee after dinner.
As we say in Ladino – siempre en fiestas i alegrias – always for joyful occasions!
500g (1lb 2oz) dried apricots
2 tsp rose water
2¾ cups sugar
For the topping:
½ cup pine nuts or walnuts
You will need:
a 15.5x10.5cm (6x4in) heatproof dish, lightly oiled
Add the apricots to a heavy-based stainless steel pan. Add enough water to cover the fruit.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until apricots are tender, about 30 mins. Drain well.
Transfer the apricots to a food processor and whizz in batches while still hot to a spreadable purée.
Return the purée to the pan. Add the rose water and sugar. Stir the mixture vigorously over medium heat with a wooden spoon for 30 – 35 minute, until the mixture thickens to a paste and leaves a gap when you run a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan.
Spread the apricot paste into the prepared dish, smoothing the top with a spatula.
Let set to a firm paste that is no longer sticky and can be easily cut, overnight.
Cut into 3cm (1¼in) wide diamond shapes with a sharp knife. Serve either in the dish or invert the paste onto a tray so that the glossy side is up.
Top with pine nuts or walnuts, pressed onto the center of each wedge.
❖ To store: Interleave the kayisi between layers of baking paper. Store in airtight container in fridge.