June 28, 2012

Cherry Compote with Shortbread and Mascarpone

from foodandwine.com

I never realized how luxurious a texture and flavor pure mascarpone can be, having really only had it as part of tiramisu. It is a dessert that needs to be eaten slowly to savor every bit. As the web site where I found the recipe said, this dessert is just subtly sweet so it almost works as a cheese course. We have also tried the recipe with dried cranberries-- not as good. Any leftover mascarpone after the compote is gone can be enjoyed with cut-up strawberries or by itself on a spoon. 

1 C all-purpose flour 
3 T sugar 
1/4 t salt 
rounded 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds (we skipped this)
1 stick chilled unsalted butter, diced 
1 large egg yolk

3/4 C dry red wine (Bordeaux, Meritage)
1/3 C sugar 
3/4 C dried sour cherries (3 ounces)
1/3 C mascarpone, or more to taste (in addition to the plain mascarpone, we whisk in a little sugar and a drop of vanilla extract)

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, salt, and anise seeds. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal. Using a fork, blend in the egg yolk. (At this point I have to add in a splash of ice water because the dough is too dry to gather together.) Gather the dough together and transfer it to a baking sheet. Press it to form a 6-inch round that's 1 inch thick. Using the blunt edge of a knife, mark 8 wedges. 

Bake the shortbread for about 35 minutes, until the dough is pale brown around the edge. While the shortbread is still warm, using a serrated knife, cut it into 8 wedges. Let cool to room temperature. 

In a small saucepan, simmer the wine with the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the dried sour cherries, cover, and simmer until they're plump, about 4 minutes. Let cool. 

Dollop the mascarpone into bowls. Spoon the cherry compote on top and serve with the shortbread. 

Willem very  much enjoyed his with a wine-free cherry compote

1 comment:

  1. We use one 8-oz. container of mascarpone to split evenly for four servings. The cherry compote makes more like 7 servings.