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Spiced plums in red wine syrup

A perfectly ripe plum of the perfect variety, harvested on the perfect summer day, shipped and stored in the perfect way and delivered to you when you are in the perfect frame of mind to enjoy it--this is a rare ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Serves 6
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pound plums
  • Vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened creme fraiche, for serving

Step 1Place the cloves and peppercorns in the center of a 4-inch-square piece of cheesecloth and tie the cloth in a bundle with a piece of kitchen twine. Combine the bundle, the cinnamon stick, red wine and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 2Add the plums and cook, keeping the wine at a bare simmer, until the plums are just tender. Depending on the ripeness of the plums and the size of the pieces, this will take between 5 and 10 minutes.

Step 3Drain the plums, discarding the cheesecloth bundle and the cinnamon stick, and transferring the syrup into a smaller saucepan. Return the syrup to the heat, and cook at a bare simmer until it has reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and return the plums to the syrup. Set aside until ready to serve.

Step 4Serve at room temperature with the ice cream or creme fraiche.

Note: If you find really small plums, handball-size or slightly bigger, they are absolutely beautiful when poached this way. If they're bigger than that, you can cut them in halves, quarters or smaller wedges.
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