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Purple Fruits with Lavender Syrup

This gorgeous dessert is not only easy to prepare but is also healthful. It features two purple fruits—plums and black grapes—which are rich in antioxidants.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 6 fresh, pesticide-free lavender sprigs or 1 tsp. dried lavender flowers, plus more for garnish
  • 4 purple plums, halved and pitted
  • 20 black grapes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter

Directions:

The day before serving, in a small saucepan over high heat, combine 1 cup water and the 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir until the sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Add the lavender, cover and let stand overnight. The next day, strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve lined with several layers of damp cheesecloth. Return the syrup to a clean saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Butter a baking dish just large enough to hold the fruit in a single layer. Add the plums, cut side down, and the grapes. Sprinkle with the 2 Tbs. sugar and dot with the butter. Bake until the butter and sugar have melted and the skin of the plums and grapes is just beginning to wrinkle, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Gently spoon the fruit into dessert bowls or glasses and drizzle with the lavender syrup. Garnish each with lavender and serve warm. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eating by Color, by Georgeanne Brennan, Dana Jacobi & Annabel Langbein (Oxmoor House, 2007).