ITALIAN PLUM COMPOTE
Photography by Angie Norwood Browne
Large batch for canning:
4-6 quarts Italian plums (or other variety)
12 whole star anise-they’re gorgeous!
2 whole vanilla beans, split
6 cinnamon sticks
Wash, halve and pit enough plums to fill a large/deep roasting pan or Dutch oven/heavy duty pot.
Put plums, and your choice of spices (experiment with cardamom, clove, allspice, nutmeg, black pepper…) in the the pan on low to start, until the plums release a little liquid. Once they’ve gotten a bit juicy, raise the heat to medium low and simmer for about 45 minutes, covered. Stir gently now and then, trying to keep plums in distinct halves. If it seems too runny, uncover and reduce liquid until desired consistency.
Pour into prepared jars and boil in water bath for 20-25 minutes. Voila!
Smaller batch for eating pronto:
4 cups of prepared plums
1 cinnamon stick
4 star anise
1/2 vanilla bean, split
Follow directions above. This will cook faster, so you can start right before making pancakes and it will be ready as you flip the final flapjack on your plate!
Italian plum compote is delicious (and the most sublime magenta color) on your morning Scottish oats, pancakes, waffles, Ebelskivers, Dutch babies, crepes… also yummy cold with yogurt.