Dried Fruit in Vanilla Wine Syrup
It's a good sign when a recipe starts out with a full bottle of wine!
And this recipe is an outstanding dessert. Looks beautiful, smells wonderful and tastes fantastic.
For this recipe you need a bottle of Riesling. Put the whole bottle into a saucepan, and add 2/3 cup of 21 Missions Organics Vanilla Agave Syrup and one cinnamon stick. Simmer the syrup for 20 minutes, so that the cinnamon can infuse the syrup.
Add about 1 packed cup dried apricots and about a dozen Valley Fig Growers' Calimyrna Figs, with the stems removed.
Simmer the fruit in the syrup another 25 minutes until the fruit gets nice and plump.
Of course, the apricots and figs are great on their own, so be sure to buy extra just to eat by themselves. B & R Farms' California Blenheim Apricots are in a class by themselves. Nothing at all like "ordinary"
dried apricots. And if you haven't ever tasted a Calimyrna fig, it's a totally different color, taste and texture from the more common mission fig. They are bigger, a nutty brown, and even have a nutty flavor, not as sweet as mission figs,
You can shop online for both B & R Farms apricots and Valley Fig Growers figs. Also, you can visit the B & R Farms store at their ranch in Hollister, east of Monterey.
After the fruit has plumped up, remove it from the syrup, discard the cinnamon stick, and simmer the syrup another 25 minutes to reduce it to about 2 cups. You want to keep an eye on this. It may not look like anything is happening for a while, and then suddenly, the syrup will start to thicken.
It becomes a gorgeous golden brown, and as Mari Rossi says, "Wow! The color and the aroma are absolutely divine!"
Pour the syrup over the fruit and add the topping of your choice. Mari decided to top hers with Wallaby Organic Organic Vanilla Yogurt (we also had the Wallaby Organic Plain Yogurt), and I chose the Cowgirl Creamery Crème Fraiche.
Wallaby Organic Yogurt is so smooth and incredibly creamy. They make unusual flavors in both low fat and non-fat, and you won't miss the fat for one bite. Their Down Under flavors have lots of fruit topped with lowfat yogurt.
To make the Cowgirl Creamery Crème Fraiche, organic cream is cooked at a very low temperature for hours. It thickens and develops a rich, sweet, slightly almond flavor. The American Cheese Society gave it a blue ribbon, and it's no wonder.
We topped these fabulous creations with Maisie Jane's California Sunshine Products Sliced Almond Delights. The very finely sliced almonds gave a delicious crunch to each bite. There really is a Maisie Jane, and she grows organic almonds in California's Sacramento Valley. If you're in Chico stop at her charming store for Maisie's own products as well as other local goodies.
Try a Moscato or Sauterne wine with this dessert.