Chocolate Stuffed Apricots and Figs

This recipe is based on one from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts. My four daughters always enjoyed helping me with this dessert because I hate to prepare dishes that take a lot of messy hand-work. (I always told the girls that I hated "potchke messes" - using the Yiddish term for fuss or bother.) The girls, however, loved to work with chocolate, particularly when it came time to clean up and I allowed them to first lick their fingers. These are elegant decorations on a dessert buffet. I serve them in tiny gold-foil paper cups.


Soften the figs by pressing each one between your fingers. Cut a small slit through the bottom of each fig to make a pocket.

Cover a cookie sheet or tray with foil, and make room for it in the refrigerator.


Put the cream in a large glass microwave container, and bring it just to a boil. Chop the first 1/4 pound of chocolate, and add this to the cream. Stir until the chocolate is melted, heating briefly between stirrings in the microwave. Add the butter, and stir until smooth. Cool for 3 minutes. Stir in the yolk until smooth. Put this bowl in the freezer, removing every five to ten minutes to stir. Remove from the freezer when it is as stiff as chilled cream cheese.

Fill each fig with the stuffing, pressing the edges together. Fill each pair of apricot halves, trying to close the edges. Place the filled fruit on the prepared tray, and refrigerate or freeze while preparing the glaze:


Chop the remaining chocolate, and melt in the microwave or over a double-boiler. Add the vegetable shortening, and cover until melted. Take particular care not to allow even a drop of water to get into this mixture. Prepare another tray or plate to hold the dipped fruit. Hold a chilled, stuffed piece of fruit (by the stem for the figs), and dip into the glaze. Don't use too much chocolate because you don't want a heavy layer on the bottom. Place glazed fruit on the fresh tray. Refrigerate until firm.

These can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen. Allow frozen fruit to defrost in the refrigerator for 2 hours). Serve very cold.

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