My sister-in-law came to stay for a couple of days this week and she drove us to drink.
Actually, that’s not strictly true. She made us get in a cab and although I refused to let her talk me into any form of tequila-based cocktail I did somehow knock back several glasses of champagne and then there was a bottle of Montelpulciano on the table and then yesterday morning I felt like my head was going to explode.
Which is a roundabout way of explaining why when I opened the cupboard and saw a half bottle of red wine sitting on the shelf my first instinct was to lie down in a darkened room. Instead, I let it simmer away with some plums until all that nasty alcohol had evaporated and all that was left was a delicious spicy syrup. This is how you do it.
I won’t bore you about my passion for dark-fleshed plums, I’ve done it enough. If you’re not a fan of plums, wait a month or so and try feijoas or tamarillos done this way.
12 small dark plums, halved
250ml red wine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1tsp ground cloves
1tsp ground cinnamon
strip of orange zest
Put everything in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Cover and simmer very gently for 20-30 minutes, until the plums are soft but not collapsing. Set aside to cool. Lift out the stones – put them in a dish as you do it so you can count them out and be sure of not leaving one behind.
These are good hot over vanilla icecream, affogato-style, or cold with a big dollop of whipped cream or Greek yoghurt. Big flakes of dark chocolate are optional.
Have a good weekend, everyone. May the sun be shining, wherever you are (which is probably unlikely if you are in NZ this weekend. Brrrr!)