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Winter Compote with Lemon Cream

Lemon zest gives a flavor boost to whipped cream, which is served atop a compote of fresh and dried winter fruits.

Ingredients:

For the compote:

  • 1 bottle (750ml) dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 4 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 16 kumquats, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 lb. (about 16) dried Kalamata figs, quartered
  •  

For the lemon cream:

  • Grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Directions:

To make the compote, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the wine, honey, cinnamon stick and star anise. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to combine all the ingredients. 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 from the heat and let cool. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Refrigerate the compote until ready to serve.

To make the lemon cream, set aside 1 tsp. of the lemon zest for garnish. In a small bowl, combine the remaining lemon zest and sugar, rubbing the sugar and zest between your fingertips to combine the lemon oils with the sugar. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream on medium-high speed just until it starts to thicken. Gradually add the lemon sugar and beat until combined.

Scoop the lemon cream into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the reserved lemon zest and serve alongside the compote. Serves 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm (Oxmoor House, 2008).