WHAT IS KAYMAK?
You say Kaymak, we say clotted cream! We adore this breakfast dessert from Sabrina Ghayour’s gorgeous book Persiana. In it Ghayour writes: “Kaymak is a bit of an obsession in Turkey. Everywhere you go, there is kaymak: Kaymak ice cream, yogurt, cakes, and sweet treats filled with kaymak..so I found myself asking what on earth is this kaymak stuff? The answer is simple…it is clotted cream and Turks love it. This is my version of a popular treat enjoyed by Turks, made with dried apricots stuffed with clotted cream and walnuts. They are perfect mouthfuls of deliciousness and looks so pretty. Although they are very sweet and rich, when paired with a nice cup of black tea or mint tea, they are a naughty treat that’s well worth indulging in.”
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING POACHED APRICOTS WITH KAYMAK
- WATER BUFFALO MILK?
In Turkey Kaymak is made from water buffalo milk that is heated and slowly reduced, giving it a thicker texture and stronger flavor. In other parts of the world any type of milk short of yak is used. Remember that the flavor of the milk has a strong impact on the flavor your clotted cream. Goat and sheep’s milk in particular have a distinct tang. So they may not be suitable for newcomers to gourmet dairy cuisine.
- JUST LIKE MAMA USED TO MAKE
If you’re making this at home, the milk is brought to a boil (watch out for the foam!). Then the temperature is dropped down to just below boiling. After that the milk is slowly heated at that temperature for about 2 hours. If you don’t have a thermometer handy, that’s ok. If you watch the milk closely, just before it starts to foam up and boil, the bubbles will die down a bit giving the milk a more placid look. That’s how French chefs make creme brulee without a thermometer. When they see this “dead zone” (imagine the actor saying “the egg is burning” instead of “house”) they stop heating the milk.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH POACHED APRICOTS AND KAYMAK?
Honey, bread, fruit, and in vegetarian breakfast ingredients in general work well. In Greece it is made into an ice cream with delicious results! Clotted cream is not just popular in the Middle East, in the U.K. Devon Clotted Cream is also a common ingredient for various English scones, crumpets and other items whose appeal bewilders French pastry chefs. However don’t underestimate Turkey, the land who helped France invent the croissant. These bite sized goodies are sweet with a slight tartness of the apricot. The velvety creaminess of the clotted cream is offset by the crunch of walnut.