Weir Cooking in the City: Summer Fruits in Sweet Spiced Wine

Serves: 6

My favorite desserts of all are fruit desserts, whether it's a sorbet, a fruit tart, or just a simple bowl of summer fruit. Don't get me wrong, I like a bite of good chocolate every once in a while. But in the summertime, I prefer summer stone fruit and berries of all kinds. In this dessert, I've combined them with a late harvest dessert wine for an easy, but really flavorful dessert when time is of the essence!

• 1 orange
• 1 1/2 cups late harvest dessert wine (Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Sauternes)
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
• 4 1/4-inch slices fresh ginger root
• 1 pint blackberries
• 1 1/2 cups green seedless grapes (about 8 ounces)
• 1 cup cherries, pitted (about 6 ounces)
• 2 nectarines, halved, pitted, and diced
• 2 plums, halved, pitted, and diced

Cut the peel from the orange with a vegetable peeler, making sure there is no white pith. Juice the orange. Bring the orange juice, orange peel, wine, honey, vanilla bean, and ginger to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the orange peel, vanilla bean, and ginger slices. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the blackberries, grapes, cherries, nectarines, and plums in a bowl. Pour the wine syrup over the fruit and refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill the fruit. Stir gently just until mixed.

To serve, spoon the fruit into bowls and pour the sauce over the top.

Recipe ©2004 Joanne Weir from Weir Cooking in the City, reprinted by permission.