Our Kulinarya challenge for February is to create a dish that recalls your first love... plus a good love story to go with it. I fell off my chair laughing when I read the email sent by this month's hosts: Abigail of Nappytales and Marni of Kensington Kitchen, because I think being with the same man for more than a quarter of a century makes me feel too old to remember.
I am choosing to share with you my Fruit Compote, which may not sound perfect for a Filipino cooking club, but I have a good alibi for it. You see I've shared a lot of dishes like lengua in my post Reminiscing, and Chicken ala Max's in my post The house that fried chicken built. I also wrote posts like He Still Gives me Flowers and I Crepe the Promise, wherein I shared the iced tea I used to serve him and the dessert of mango crepes we loved during our early dates.
So since Valentine's just passed, I want to share with you our V-day dessert. Although we didn't expect anything from each other that day, I was still surprised that he came home with flowers and wine while I surprised him with a special dinner for two with all the trimmings. The dessert that stole the night was the Fruit Compote, which was inspired by Jacques Pepin.
We both agreed this reminds us of our traditional Filipino fruit salad but the only difference is this seems to be a fruit salad on steroids. Our Filipino version uses canned fruits while this recipe is made of fresh fruits stewed in red wine with the cream added on top. We both loved the tartness that is balanced by the sweetness we got at the end (both from the cream and the syrup).
And we both smiled that just like this dessert, most relationships can be sour sometimes but oftentimes sweet.
Fruit Compote (adapted from Jacques Pepin)
Here is the original recipe of Red Fruit Compote. But my version listed below is a simplified one.
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup Red wine
1 small apple sliced
1 small pear sliced
a bunch of grapes
10 pcs blackberry
Heavy cream for dollop
Boil water in a small pot and dissolve the sugar. Allow the mixture to thicken. Pour the red wine. Mix the syrup thoroughly. Add the fruit slices (with the hard fruits first then followed by the grapes and blueberry).
Let it cool and serve chilled. Scoop it in a serving cup and dollop or top it with heavy cream and a cherry.