Hot Apricots and Pineapple with Pepper, Rum and Myrtle

“Healthy desserts – possibly the most disappointing combination of two words in the entire English language”

Alex James, The Sunday Times


This is possibly one of the healthiest desserts on Saucy Dressings…but it certainly does NOT disappoint… instead it delights. Alright… there is an element of sugar… but it’s honey, so, of course, that’s all right…

Apricots are just beginning to come into season here in Italy…. Of course the best thing to do with them is to eat them off the tree (the healthiest option…although still laden with sugar…) ….. but this is another way which is a bit different. The key ingredient is the pepper, which, well, which peps the whole thing up; but the rum gives a bit of a WHOP!!! as well.

Chestnut honey has an intriguing burnt toffee flavour – if you can’t find it use orange blossom honey.

And I’ve also used myrtle – a herb found growing all over Sardinia, but, although popular in medieval times, has become largely neglected in UK. Now, herb expert, Jekka McVicar has named it as a herb to reckon with.

This would go well with a good vanilla ice cream. If you’re buying ready-made – go here.

I once forgot completely about this pudding and left it all night in the warming oven. I had it for breakfast the next day. The pineapple was still firm but the apricots had softened, and the flavours melded. Heaven.


Recipe for Hot Apricots and Pineapple with Pepper, Rum and Myrtle

Serves 6


  • 12 apricots
  • 1 small pineapple
  • 1 tbsp chestnut honey
  • 4 Indonesian long peppercorns – ground in a pestle and mortar, or any freshly ground pepper
  • 120 ml/½ cup dark rum
  • a few sprigs of myrtle (or lemon verbena, or mint)
  • two or three leaves of basil


  1. Cut the apricots in half and stone them.
  2. Peel the pineapple and cut into cubes.
  3. Arrange in an oven (well, a grill) proof dish – heat the grill.
  4. Grind over the pepper and pour over (spreading well) the rum and the honey.
  5. Add two or three sprigs of myrtle.
  6. Put under the hot grill for about five minutes – the edges of the apricots will start to turn black and become caramelised.
  7. Serve hot with some snipped fresh basil leaves sprinkled over.


apricots and pineapple with rum

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