Spiced plums in red wine syrup

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Spiced plums in red wine syrup

Place the cloves and peppercorns in the center of a 4-inch-square piece of cheesecloth and tie the cloth in a bundle with a piece of kitchen twine. Combine the bundle, the cinnamon stick, red wine and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes.


Add the plums and cook, keeping the wine at a bare simmer, until the plums are just tender. Depending on the ripeness of the plums and the size of the pieces, this will take between 5 and 10 minutes.


Drain the plums, discarding the cheesecloth bundle and the cinnamon stick, and transferring the syrup into a smaller saucepan. Return the syrup to the heat, and cook at a bare simmer until it has reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and return the plums to the syrup. Set aside until ready to serve.


Serve at room temperature with the ice cream or creme fraiche.

If you find really small plums, handball-size or slightly bigger, they are absolutely beautiful when poached this way. If they’re bigger than that, you can cut them in halves, quarters or smaller wedges.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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