Smoked Duck, Roasted Apricot and Honey Croutons
I created this simple, yet elegant appetizer to pair with wines at a special tasting in Bordeaux, France. They're delicious!
Wine suggestion: Sauternes
9 firm apricots, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons honey
18 thin slices of baguette, sliced on the diagonal
2 to 3 tablespoons honey mustard
2 smoked duck breasts, cut into thin slices and halved
3 tablespoons toasted and chopped pistachios
Preheat an oven to 350F. Cut the apricots in half and remove the pit. Arrange the apricots, cut side up in a baking dish and evenly dollop the preserves and honey into the hollows of each apricot half. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until soft to the touch, and slightly wrinkled, but not totally collapsed, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the apricots from the pan gently but leave the liquid from the hollow of each apricot in the pan. Place the apricots carefully on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer and let cool completely.
Pour the liquid from the apricots into a saucepan and reduce over medium high heat to make a thick syrup, about 3 to 4 minutes. You should have about 2 to 3 tablespoons remaining.
Place the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Spread the honey mustard on the toasted baguette slices dividing and spreading evenly. Top with a slice of smoked duck. Top with an apricot, cut side down. Brush the apricots with the reduced liquid. Garnish with pistachios and serve.
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