Some people, who are me (Sapphire), got BBQ smoking tubes for Christmas and have been smoking anything they can get their hands on ever since. You, too, can get a BBQ smoking tube from bunnings for about $15 and have all the cold smoking fun your family can handle.
Some people, (me again!), also love the salty, sour, flavour intensity of South African mebos, others, mostly Sommelier, have taken some coaxing to accept my nostalgic snack. Adding wood smoke has been the answer.
Tip: if you do not have a cold smoking device and don’t wish to get one then you can buy smoked salt from most decently stocked IGAs and gourmet grocers. It will be a more subtle flavour, but still good. I absolutely do not recommend liquid smoke because I think it is disgusting.
1kg apricots overripe is best, sour and bitter flavours are accentuated in drying so aim for sweet seconds wherever possible.
1/2 cup sugar (I either use raw or brown, but it really doesn’t matter)
2 tsp good quality sea salt (tip, add the salt at the end, just before drying, and taste as you go if you are feeling nervous about the salty flavours)
1 tube of cherry wood chips.
Wash and halve the apricots laying them in a roasting dish. You probably aren’t meant to put things you are going to smoke into a roasting dish, but I like to keep my fruits contained, even if it comes at the expense of flavour.
Pack your BBQ smoking tube with wood chips (I use cherry, but there are plenty of other ones to choose from at good bbq supply shops [and bunnings]), light the chips, I use a little bit of methylated spirits to get it going. Place the tube in your BBQ along with the tray of apricots and close the lid. I find you can get about 2 hours of smoke from a tightly packed tube, so possibly spend some time thinking about other things in the vicinity you might want to add smoke flavour to.
Smoke apricots for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove the tray and fruit from the BBQ, sprinkle on the sugar and salt (or leave the salt until the end), and roast for about 30 minutes until caramelised.
Blitz with a stab mixer/food processor and taste. Add sugar and salt as needed.
Divide mixture across lined dehydrator trays (I use reusable silicon baking paper, but regular baking paper will do, it just crinkles a bit at the edges). Sprinkle a few edible flower petals on if you’re feeling fancy
I dry in a biochef at 70⁰c for 10 hours, but your machine may differ. Dry until there aren’t any more tacky bits when you touch it. If it becomes brittle then just leave it at room temperature for a few days and it will settle.
Roll and cut into slivers. Will store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 12 months.
Enjoy this as a snack in its own right or try it torn smaller and sprinkled over curry when out bush.