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Plum Compote with Star Anise

Yield 4
Plums and star anise form a brilliant and novel pairing. Although you don't eat it, we like to leave the star anise in the syrup because it looks so beautiful; you can remove it if you prefer. Serve the compote with pound cake or butter cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar, more if the plums are tart
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 2 pounds red and/or black plums (about 9), halved and pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

How to Make It

  1. In a medium stainless-steel saucepan, combine the wine, water, sugar, and star anise and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat.

  2. Add the plums. Bring the poaching liquid back to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the plums are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the plums and their liquid into a glass or stainless-steel bowl and let cool. Stir in the lemon juice.

  3. Variations : You can use red wine instead of white.: Add several strips of orange zest to the saucepan along with the star anise.

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