Photo by Judith Hausman
The light sugaring holds their flavor and color nicely for more than a week. I’ve used red or white wine in the past, but this year I decided to only add the brightening flavor of a little citrus zest to the poaching liquid. As alternatives, herbs, such as basil, mint, lemon verbena or lavender, are lovely with poached fruits, and the compote can be spiked post-facto with cognac or liqueur, as I’ve done here with apricots.
Try to find the moment the fruit is cooked just through but still firm; this will vary with the size and type you stumble upon. Peaches poach beautifully, too, as do pears later in the season.
As for serving the fruit, it seems obvious: ice cream or crème fraîche on top with butter pound cake, shortcake or shortbread cookies underneath.
Note: If using cherries instead of apricots, use lemon zest instead of lime and substitute amaretto or cognac for the orange liqueur.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- zest of half a lime
- 1 pound fresh apricots (or other fruit), halved and stones removed
- 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur
Bring the water and sugar to a gentle boil without stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Lower to a simmer, add the apricot halves and poach about 5 minutes. Cool briefly, and then stir in the liqueur. Chill and serve.
You might also enjoy these Locavore Recipes: