Apricots with burrata

Serves 4

Burrata is an Italian cow's milk mozzarella. If you can't find it, try any other cow's milk mozzarella, such as fior di latte. They are both richer and creamier than buffalo mozzarella, so work well with sweet things.

100g/31/2oz sugar
250ml/8fl oz water
1 vanilla pod
3 bay leaves
The peel of one lemon
6 ripe apricots
300g/10oz burrata
A little freshly ground black pepper
The zest of one lemon

Put the sugar, water, vanilla, bay and peel into a pan. Place over a medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Split the apricots in half and remove the kernels. Place them in the gently boiling sugar syrup. Turn the heat down slightly and gently poach for two to three minutes until just soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove the apricots and place in a bowl to cool. Discard the syrup.

To assemble, tear the burrata into pieces using your fingers, then divide between four plates. Pile the apricots on top and sprinkle over the black pepper and lemon zest. Serve.

This dish is also delicious and refreshing when slightly chilled. To serve in this way, once the apricots have cooled, place in the fridge for a half hour or so before piling on top of the burrata. You can also decorate with edible flowers, as above.