Do you think its strange that I have a first memory of a plum? I guess it is a little strange. On the other hand, I write a food blog, so it seems only natural that memories of food would have a special place in my heart.
It was in Kindergarten, when I was at the ripe age of four. My Kindergarten year was especially memorable. Not because I accomplished many of the milestones of age four, such as learning to read and learning to tie my shoes.
It was memorable because once a week we had cooking class! We made simple meals with wholesome, healthy ingredients.
Someone wise once said that everything he ever needed to know, he learned in Kindergarten.
In Kindergarten, I learned how to slice a plum.
I was handed a (blunt) knife and given total responsibility. Carefully, we were taught to slice all the way around the middle, twist, and break apart.
With plums, it always comes as a surprise what the centre might contain. Will it be juicy and sweet? Ready and waiting for you to sink your teeth into? Or will it be sour, leaving you with the feeling that your “slice-and-twist” was just not worth it?
I guess you’ll never know until you open it up.
There’s no use worrying about it beforehand. You can’t control it. A plum is a plum.
Life lessons from a fruit.
If its a little on the sour side, you’re in luck. Its not a waste. Slightly sour plums make a beautiful compote, as it happens.
A splash of red wine. A sprinkle of cranberries. A scoop of sugar. Cinnamon.
There you have it. A light dessert to please all palates.
I shared my kitchen success of the day with my mom that evening. I was so excited to create something that looked so gourmet with such little time and effort.
“That’s my kind of dessert.”
Spiked Plum and Cranberry Compote
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10-15 min
Yield: about 4 cups (serves 5 generously)
- 3-4 plums (to yield about 3 cups chopped plums)
- 5 TB red wine (I used a Tannat- use whatever you have on hand)
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup white sugar * (more or less depending on how sweet your plums are to begin with)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Wash and chop plums into large chunks, about 1 cm cubes.
- Place plums in a medium saucepan and add red wine and cinnamon. Heat on low, stirring occasionally until the plums begin to soften.
- Slowly add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time. You will need more sugar if your plums were a little sour to begin with, so taste after each tablespoon (don’t burn your tongue!) and stop adding sugar when you get to the sweetness level you desire.
- Add the dried cranberries when you’ve finished adding the sugar. Continue to heat on low until the plums have completely softened but haven’t turned into mush (about 10 minutes).
- Remove from heat to cool.
Serving Suggestions: Serve warm or refrigerate to serve later in the day. Serve on ice cream, yogurt, pancakes, oatmeal, or straight from the bowl on a spoon.
For Vegans: I bet this would taste great with some of Laura’s Cinnamon Ice Cream.
Do you prefer light desserts? Or the super-decadent, rich, melt-in-your-mouth variety?