William Werner's much-anticipated contemporary patisserie in San Francisco, Craftsman and Wolves, will feature a cross section of savory-inspired sweet treats such as zucchini financiers, chocolate-salted caramel brownies and his signature, the "rebel within," a poached-egg-stuffed sausage muffin. For his sweet-savory apricot panini, he blends hazelnut-and-caramel-praline paste with slow-macerated apricots and then presses the sweet and nutty spread between two slices of house-baked brioche that's studded with hazelnuts and more dried apricots—these infused with Lillet and lavender. Our adaptation is slightly more streamlined, but it still bursts with refined flavor.
Recipe adapted from William Werner, Craftsman and Wolves, San Francisco
Yield: 2 sandwiches
Cook Time: 20 minutes (plus overnight for the fruit to macerate)
1¼ pounds apricots, halved, pitted and chopped into ½-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons hazelnut-praline paste (or almond butter)
Four ⅛-inch-thick slices bread (preferably brioche)
2 tablespoons good-quality salted butter at room temperature
1. In an airtight container, combine the apricots, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Cover and let the apricot mixture sit out at room temperature overnight.
2. In a medium saucepan set over high heat, cook the apricot mixture until the apricots are translucent and thick like jam, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and place ¼ cup of the apricot mixture in a food-processor bowl with the praline paste; purée. Return the apricot-praline purée back to the saucepan with the cooked-down apricots and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside to cool.
3. Toast the bread until it is barely golden. Spread one side of each piece of bread with ½ tablespoon of the butter. Turn two of the slices over and add 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on the size of the bread slices) of the apricot-praline mixture, spreading it into an even layer. Top with another slice of bread, buttered side facing out.
4. In a grill pan set over medium-high heat (or using a panini press), press the sandwich until golden and ridged; use a spatula to lightly press the sandwich, about 1 minute on each side (2 minutes total if using a panini press). Remove, cut in half on a bias and serve warm. Refrigerate the remaining apricot-praline filling for up to one week or freeze for up to three months. (Use the apricot praline in tarts, cake layers or for making more sandwiches.)