Dried-Fruit Compote with Vanilla and Orange Recipe

  • 1 navel or juice orange
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 lb dried figs (preferably Calimyrna; about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 lb dried apricots (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1/2 lb pitted prunes (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • Accompaniment: lightly sweetened low-fat sour cream (optional)
  1. Peel zest in long strips from half of orange with a vegetable peeler and trim any white pith from zest. Cut zest into fine julienne strips. Halve orange and squeeze 1/3 cup juice.
  2. Combine zest, juice, wine, sugar, and 2 cups water in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean with a sharp knife into wine mixture, reserving pod for another use. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then continue to boil, uncovered, until reducedto about 3 cups, about 10 minutes.
  3. While syrup is boiling, cut off and discard fig stems and halve figs lengthwise. Add figs to syrup and simmer, covered, until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add apricots and prunes, then simmer, covered, until plump, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer compote to a heatproof bowl and cool to warm or room temperature, 1 to 2 hours.