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Flavors blend in compotes

THE BALTIMORE SUN

If "compotes" conjure up images of soggy prunes, it's time to give these elegant fruit dishes another taste. In the best compotes, fresh or dried fruit is poached in juice, wine or sugar syrup, creating an unusual flavor exchange and a melt-in-your-mouth texture. For dessert compotes, the fruit can be plumped in wine or spirits to tenderize and flavor it. Next time the menu calls for a healthful dessert or a make-ahead breakfast side dish, think compote.

Need proof that a rich-tasting dessert needn't be high in fat? The compote recipe below can be served plain or with a dollop of nonfat yogurt.

Cole Publishing Group

Compote of Fruits in Red Wine

Serves 8

2 cups sliced pears

2 cups sliced green apples

1/3 cup chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups dry red wine

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup nonfat plain yogurt

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine pears, apples, apricots, pineapple, vanilla, wine, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest and orange juice. Cook, stirring gently from time to time, until most of the wine has been absorbed and fruit is very soft (about 30 minutes).

Spoon into wine glasses and serve warm or chilled, topped with nonfat yogurt.

Pub Date: 12/06/98

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