Apricot Orange Mousse

    This velvety mousse bursts with a tangy citrus flavor. This could be the perfect ending to a spicy meal.

    SERVES 6

    1ВЅ cups (10 ounces) dried apricots

    1 cup water

    ВЅ cup honey

    ¼ cup orange juice (from 1 large orange—reserve 3 thin slices for garnish)

    1 tablespoon Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec

    ВЅ cup heavy or whipping cream, well chilled

    2 egg whites, at room temperature

    3 thin orange slices for garnish

    1. Put the apricots, water, and honey into a medium saucepan. Partially cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the apricots are soft.
    2. Pour the apricots and their liquid into a blender or food processor, add the orange juice, and pure until smooth. Spoon into a bowl and stir in the liqueur. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
    3. Meanwhile in a medium bowl whip the cream until stiff. (For best results chill the bowl and beaters beforehand.)
    4. Wash and dry the beaters well. In a separate large bowl whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. (The bowl, beaters, and egg whites should be warm for best results.)
    5. When the apricot pure is chilled check the consistency; it should be like thick oatmeal. If necessary thin with a little liqueur, orange juice, or milk.
    6. Spoon the chilled apricot pure into the egg whites and gently fold in. Add the whipped cream and fold in until well blended. Spoon into custard cups or attractive goblets and garnish with half of an orange slice twisted. Chill at least 1 hour before serving and up to 48 hours.