Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Baked Compote of Winter Fruit

February may look like the shortest month of the year, but I'm always convinced that it takes the longest to end, as we wait for winter to depart and spring to arrive.  Cozy, warming food is the key to getting through these last few weeks of winter, and this dessert fits the bill!  Serve it after a dinner of a hearty bowl of lentil soup and warm bread, and you'll soon forget your winter blues.

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup vegan port (such as Casal dos Jordeos)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup vegan sugar
  • 1 (1-inch) lemon rind strip
  • 4 cups peeled and sliced Golden Delicious apple
  • 2 cups (1/4-inch thick) Anjou pear wedges*
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups vanilla non-dairy ice cream
1. Spread the applesauce into a 1/2-inch thick layer on several layers of paper towels.  Cover with additional paper towels and let stand for 5 minutes, then scrape the applesauce into a bowl with a spatula; set aside.

2. Combine the cranberries, port, cider, sugar, and lemon rind in a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and stir in the applesauce.

3. Combine the apples and pears in an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Pour the cranberry mixture over the apple mixture, then cover and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, basting occasionally with the cooking liquid.  Discard the lemon rind.

4. Serve 1 cup compote on each of 6 dessert plates, and top each serving with 1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy ice cream of your choice.

As mentioned, I recommend lentil stew and warm bread for dinner first. All in all, a cozy night in the kitchen.

*Make sure to chose Anjou pear that is still firm; a ripe pear will cook too far down instead of holding on to its shape.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 cup compote, 1/2 cup ice cream), Calories 260 

Tasting Notes:
This was yummy, though it could have been better; the apples and pears were tender to perfection, but I found the cranberries to be a bit too tart.  I would recommend cooking the cranberry mixture until the cranberries pop and grow sweeter, or adding more sugar, or both.  The best part of the dish was spooning up the last bits of melted ice cream mixed with sauce - it tasted like the cream cheese and jelly sandwich filling I remember from childhood!


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