Just because it’s the dead of winter, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fresh fruit for dessert. Here, a medley of winter fruits and dried figs are simmered in white wine until flavorful and tender. A dollop of lemon cream takes it over the top.
Winter Compote with Lemon Cream
For the compote:
1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise pod
4 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
16 kumquats, sliced 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick
1 lb. (500 g) dried Kalamata figs (about 16), quartered
For the lemon cream:
Grated zest from 2 Meyer lemons
1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) superfine sugar
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) heavy cream
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the wine, honey, cinnamon stick and star anise. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the pears, apples, kumquats and figs. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the apples are just tender when pierced with a knife, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the the mixture cool to room temperature. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Refrigerate the fruit in the liquid until cold, at least 1 hour.
Immediately before serving, set aside 1 tsp. of the lemon zest for garnish. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining lemon zest and sugar, rubbing the sugar and zest between your fingertips to combine the oil from the zest with the sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium-high speed just until it starts to thicken. Gradually add the lemon sugar and continue whipping until soft peaks form.
Scoop the cream into a serving bowl, sprinkle with reserved lemon zest and serve. Serves 8.
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends: Fresh Ways to Entertain with Style, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm