Simmering port wine with orange, cinnamon and honey into a luxuriously syrupy sauce is just the thing to tame a medley of crisp fall fruit into an elegant dessert. Be sure to use a ruby port, as opposed to a tawny, because the sweetness of the former is essential for the accompanying recipe.
Once the plush purple liquid is boiled down, you cook the fruit — first the apples and grapes, which take a little longer to soften, then the pears. In just a few minutes, the fruit yields to the warmth, its cool crunch relaxes, and it becomes tender while the fruits also absorb the liquid’s flavor and color and releases their own juices into the mix.
The fruit and sauce can be served warm or chilled, on its own or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. But my favorite way to enjoy it happens to also be the most healthful: over a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
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Be sure to use the sweeter ruby port, as opposed to a tawny.
MAKE AHEAD: The fruit and sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.
1 cup ruby port (see headnote)
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon honey
1 or 2 apples, such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady, peeled, cored and cut into ½ -inch pieces (1 cup)
½ cup seedless red grapes, each cut lengthwise in half
1 or 2 firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into ½ -inch dice (1 cup)
Use a vegetable peeler to strip off one 2-inch long by ½ -inch wide strip of the orange peel, being careful not to include any of the white pith. Juice enough of the orange to yield 2 tablespoons of juice and reserve the rest of the orange for another use.
Place the strip of orange peel and 2 tablespoons juice in a medium saucepan along with the wine, cinnamon stick and honey and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the honey. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to about ⅓ cup. Discard the orange peel and cinnamon stick.
Stir in the apple and grapes, return to a boil then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the pear; cook for 2 minutes, until all the fruit has softened slightly but still retains its shape. Let it steep for 5 minutes.
Serve warm, or refrigerate until well chilled.
More healthful desserts from Ellie Krieger:
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