Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a sauce pan, combine the sugar, honey, vanilla bean, and water. Bring the liquid up to a boil. Add the apricots and bring back to a boil. Remove from the heat. Invert a saucer on top of the fruit to keep it submerged. Cover the saucepan and let stand for 24 hours. During the marinating, the pits will impart an almond flavor to the apricots and their syrup. Drain the fruit, reserving the syrup and being careful not to crush the apricots. Halve the apricots. Remove and discard the pits. Place 4 to 5 apricot halves in the bottom of each gratin dish, so they cover the bottom of the dish. Place the remaining apricots in a food processor with apricot syrup and puree until smooth.
For the topping: Combine 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, the almond powder, butter, egg yolks, and whole egg in a mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until smooth. Divide the batter among the 6 gratin dishes and spread evenly over the apricots. Sprinkle the top with the slivered almonds and the remaining powdered sugar. Place the gratins in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Bring the puree with the Kirsch up to a simmer. Remove the gratins from the oven and place one on each plate. Garnish with the puree, powdered sugar, and fresh mint.
Yield: 6 servings