This is a simple dessert to make ahead. Keep it on hand for a quick fix of something sweet after dinner.
- 1 bottle (750 ml) Gewtürztraminer or Johannisberg Riesling wine
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 8 ounces dried Calimyrna figs (12 to 14 figs)
- Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup packed) dried apricots (about 12 halves)
- ½ cup crème fraîche, fromage blanc, or yogurt, optional
- 1 tablespoon toasted sliced natural (unskinned) almonds, optional
1. Combine the wine and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat to a boil over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean; add the seeds and the bean to the syrup. Add the figs and cinnamon sticks. Cook, covered, over mediumlow heat for 20 minutes: add the apricots and cook until the fruits are plumped and tender, about 25 minutes more.
2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla bean to a heat resistant bowl. Boil the wine syrup, uncovered, until it is reduced to about 2 cups. Pour the syrup over the figs and stir to blend.
3. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours. Eat plain or with a spoonful of créme fraîche, yogurt, or fromage blanc on top. Garnish with almonds if desired.
This recipe serves 6. Nutritional information does not include optional crème fraîche, fromage blanc, or yogurt.