When coming out to play the sun takes care to put on its hat but Mother Nature is less coy. The sensual fruits of summer are short lived so their pleasures should be wolfishly enjoyed before their bloom is replaced by putrefaction. Apricot is delicious as a word, a work of art to behold and a sorcerer’s ingredient. When simply heated in a pan with some sugar and a few tablespoons of water they transmogrify into a sweet, sharp compote to be eaten alone or with creme fraiche or with soft goat cheese. Sometimes I will make a deep cut along the cleavage and put them in a low oven until the fruit opens, releasing the stone. They can then be put into a pastry case on top of a layer thick creme anglaise and glazed with their own sweet syrup. These are fruit to be selfishly gorged on when they are perfect and to be avoided if they are not.