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As much as I love the sweet, soft pears and tart, crisp apples of winter, there comes a point in the season when I just can't stop daydreaming about the juicy, eat-over-the-sink stone fruits for which I'll have to wait a few more months: peaches, plums, and nectarines, and, one of my personal favorites, tender, bright-orange apricots.
I guess I've already reached that point, because I've been craving apricots something fierce. I decided to do a little web searching to see if there were creative any ways to use the dried version. I ended up watching this jazzy YouTube video demonstrating a recipe for Qamar Al-Din, a sweet and smooth apricot drink that's popular across the Middle East—where apricots grow in abundance—especially during Ramadan, when the fruit's natural sugars provide a quick boost of energy.
I liked the basic idea here, but I also realized that what the drink most reminded me of was a mango lassi, that beloved, yogurt-based Indian smoothie. I thought: what if I make a mango lassi, but with apricots instead?
And I'm so glad I did. This smoothie combines soaked dried apricots with rich, tangy yogurt and a dash of acidic orange juice, resulting in a creamy, not-too-sweet drink that's heavy on apricot flavor. As a nod to both the beverages that inspired it, I add just a touch of floral orange blossom water, elevating three ingredients that you probably have in your house right now into an exotic-tasting morning libation.
About the author: Lauren Rothman once interned at Serious Eats and recently graduated from journalism school. Try the original recipes on her blog, For the Love of Food, and check out her (many) food photos on Instagram.