|chopped dried apricots
|finely slivered orange zest
|freshly squeezed orange juice
|large eggs, separated
|finely chopped toasted pistachios, preferably salted
|large egg, slightly beaten
|kirsch or Grand Marnier (optional)
Combine apricots, sugar, orange zest, orange juice and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apricots are very tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in bulgur and increase heat to high. Return to a boil; reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bulgur is tender, about 20 minutes. (The mixture will be the consistency of cooked oatmeal.) Remove from the heat and let cool, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Position a rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 350ºF.
Whisk egg yolks and milk in a large bowl until well combined. Slowly whisk in the bulgur mixture.
For Custard Sauce:
Place a fine-mesh sieve over a small bowl and have it ready by the stove.
Bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler.
Whisk milk, egg yolk and sugar in the top of the double boiler to combine. Place over the simmering water and cook, stirring constantly and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, until the sauce steams, registers at least 160°F on an instant-read thermometer and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4 to 8 minutes.
Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into the bulgur mixture using a rubber spatula.
Transfer the batter to an 8-inch-square baking dish. Push brown sugar through a sieve evenly over the batter. Place the baking dish in a roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Pour very hot tap water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake until the cake is puffed and golden, 30 to 40 minutes.
Carefully remove the baking dish from the hot water, transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature before serving. Top each serving with some Custard Sauce and a sprinkling of pistachios.
Tip: cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Makes 8 servings
Nutrition information per serving: 208 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 81 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 3 g fiber; 74 mg sodium; 201 mg potassium.