Italians often end their meal not with a dessert but with fresh fruit. Often a trattoria will have a special fruit preparation, such as these cherries poached in wine; or stuffed, baked peaches or apricots; or mixed berries served with whipped cream. At Da Giacomo, a trattoria on the outskirts of Milan that is famous for seafood dishes, I ordered the cherries cooked in wine. The wine was thick and glazy; the cherries were large, black, and sweet; and the combination was the perfect ending to a very enjoyable meal.
In a medium saucepan, combine the wine, sugar, cinnamon, clove, and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, until the wine is reduced approximately by half.
Add the cherries, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the cherries are tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Strain the cherries and wine in a large, fine sieve over a bowl. Put the wine back in the saucepan and bring it back to a simmer. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced again by half, to a medium-thick consistency.
Meanwhile, pick out and discard the lemon zest, clove, and cinnamon stick. Put the cherries in a nice serving bowl and add the reduced wine. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Favorite Recipes from the Splendid Cities
by Biba Caggiano
Hardback; 320 pages
$29.95 US, $39.95 CAN
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created October 2006
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