It’s time to preserve all types of fruit… Christine Ferber, an Alsatian pastry chef who makes world-class confiture, has a book called Mes aigres-doux, terrines et pates. It includes a section on confits to serve with cheese or charcuteries, duck or pork–even yogurt. I prefer the sour savoriness of this recipe to the cloying sweetness of a sauce such as chutney.
Start with a kilo, or a crate, of ripe summer pickings that pair well with vanilla, like apricots or figs. Combine the following in a pot: 240 g white wine vinegar, 430 g Gewurztraminer wine (spicy Alsatian wine–taste it!), 110 g sugar, 220 g honey, 20 black peppercorns, and 3 split and scraped vanilla beans and seeds. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved and liquid becomes syrupy, maybe 30 minutes. Take off heat and set aside for 10 minutes, so as not to cook the fruit. Arrange clean, halved apricots or figs in jars, as many as will fit, and strain syrup over them to cover. Screw on lids, let cool, and keep refrigerated.
Truc (Tip): Remove vanilla beans from syrup and place in jars for more flavor.