Monday, March 2, 2009
I've been busy this morning playing with some leftover red wine in the fridge. I poached a lovely assortment of dried plums, mission figs, cranberries, apricots and raisins in red wine that I spiked with spices.
The aroma was fantastic! After the fruit was beautifully plumped, I reduced the cooking liquid to a syrup and added some lemon juice at the very end for acidity. The result: a yummy, yummy compote just right to dollop over ice cream, stir into morning yogurt or top a perfectly southern slice of lemon pound cake.
Dried Fruit with Peppercorns, Cinnamon and Star Anise, Simmered in Red Wine
makes about 4 cups
In a medium saucepan, combine:
2 to 3 ounces each dried plums, figs, cranberries, apricots and raisins (or make your own combination of dried fruit that you love)
1 teaspoon peppercorns (I used a blend of black, green and pink)
2 two-inch pieces of cinnamon
1 star anise
1/8 cup sugar (I used sugar substitute)
2 cups red wine
Cover saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce flame to low and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes or until fruit is visibly plumped. Remove from heat.
Strain out fruit and return cooking liquid to medium heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove from heat and cool.
While syrup is reducing, remove cinnamon and star anise from fruit. I also took this opportunity to hunt around & pick out the peppercorns. I think I found most of them! You could leave them in, but then you'd have to warn your guests to be careful--there's nothing like chomping onto a hard peppercorn! Eek!
Transfer cooled fruit to a bowl and pour syrup over. Add:
1/4 cup lemon juice
Stir to combine and cover; store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, but believe me, it won't last that long!
Posted by Amanda at 1:48 PM