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Côtes du Rhône–Rhubarb Compote

Serves: Makes 2 pints

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups thickly sliced fresh rhubarb, ends trimmed
  • 1 pound firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into
  • ½-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
  • 1½ cups Côtes du Rhône dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 (3-inch-long) cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Procedures:

We know that spring has arrived when we see the long ruby-hued stalks of fresh rhubarb at the farmers’ market. As simple to work with as a rib of celery, the stalks are cut crosswise into slices after the tops and fibrous bottoms are lopped off. What isn’t obvious from rhubarb’s crunchy, firm texture is how quickly it cooks down into a rosy purée. It needs sweetness and spice to make it nice, in fact delectable, and this recipe produces a luscious compote, combining the spice and herbiness of Provençal red wine with ripe Bosc pears, a hint of shallot, honey, and cinnamon. Make this a springtime gift to a cook who loves to roast duck, grill pork, or serve a country-style terrine.
  1. In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the rhubarb, pears, shallots, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Decrease the heat so the compote is at a low simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb is completely tender and falling apart, the pears are soft, and the compote has thickened, about 40 minutes. (Use the side of a spoon or silicone spatula to mash any remaining chunks of rhubarb.)


  2. While the compote is simmering, prepare the preserving jars and bring water to a boil in a water bath canner.


  3. Remove the compote from the heat. Using a wide-mouth funnel and filling one jar at a time, ladle the compote into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles by running a long wooden utensil, such as a chopstick or wooden skewer, between the jar and the compote. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to the manufacturer's directions. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Wait 5 minutes, and then lift the canning rack and, using a canning jar lifter, transfer the jars to a towel-lined, sturdy rimmed baking sheet and let them rest. Check the seals, wipe the jars, and label.


Storing: Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

 
 
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