My sister-in-law came to stay for a couple of days this week and she drove us to drink.
Actually, that's not strictly true. She made us get in a cab and although I refused to let her talk me into any form of tequila-based cocktail I did somehow knock back several glasses of champagne and then there was a bottle of Montelpulciano on the table and then yesterday morning I felt like my head was going to explode.
Which is a roundabout way of explaining why when I opened the cupboard and saw a half bottle of red wine sitting on the shelf my first instinct was to lie down in a darkened room. Instead, I let it simmer away with some plums until all that nasty alcohol had evaporated and all that was left was a delicious spicy syrup. This is how you do it.
I won't bore you about my passion for dark-fleshed plums, I've done it enough. If you're not a fan of plums, wait a month or so and try feijoas or tamarillos done this way.
12 small dark plums, halved
250ml red wine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1tsp ground cloves
1tsp ground cinnamon
strip of orange zest
Put everything in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Cover and simmer very gently for 20-30 minutes, until the plums are soft but not collapsing. Set aside to cool. Lift out the stones - put them in a dish as you do it so you can count them out and be sure of not leaving one behind.
These are good hot over vanilla icecream, affogato-style, or cold with a big dollop of whipped cream or Greek yoghurt. Big flakes of dark chocolate are optional.
Have a good weekend, everyone. May the sun be shining, wherever you are (which is probably unlikely if you are in NZ this weekend. Brrrr!)
P.S This is my entry for March's Sweet New Zealand, which is being hosted by the amazing Emma Galloway at mydarlinglemonthyme. Sweet as, eh?