A while ago I shared with you a Plum Brule recipe given to me by my Scottish-born and raised friend, Judith Asphar, a wonderful cook. The Brule is such a divine recipe that I tried to make it recently for a holiday dessert, but not surprisingly, given that it is winter, I was unable to find plump, ripe, organic plums. My heart set on making something similar, I called her and asked what she suggested as a winter substitute. “Oh, Duckie, just use dried fruit instead! When they are roasted in organic orange juice the result is equally as good tasting as roasted plums.”
Obediently, I went off to the health food store and made the disha winter fruit compotewith apricots, figs, prunes, cranberries and mangos.
Here is Judith’s recipe for Winter Fruit Compotewith her words of cooking wisdom included in the directions. Note that you ca substitute dried fruit of your choice ( I noticed that Alice Waters has a recipe for a lovely winter compote using dried golden raisins, Zante currants, cherries, apricots and apples instead).
4 cups or more of organic dried fruit. Suggestions include a combination of prunes, apricots, figs, cranberries and mangos.
1 organic tangerine per 4 cups of organic dried fruit
At least 2 cups organic orange juice
Combine the dried fruit in a large and heavy roasting pan with a cover, such as a Le Creuset casserole dish. Quarter the tangerine and stir in, peels and all. Stir in the organic orange juice, and cover. Place in a slow ovenbetween 300F and 350Fand roast slowly for two to three hours, stirring in more orange juice as the liquid is absorbed by the fruit and evaporates (check every 20 minutes or so). Serve with a shortbread biscuit, cookies, dessert bread, or whatever appeals, and top with organic whip cream. (Grand Marnier tastes great with this compote if added to the cream).
By Annie B. Bond