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Summer Fruit Compote
The cherries and amarretto combine to
give a sublime touch to this mixture. I think it's because
they're all these fruits and almonds are from the same family
(botanically), and the amaretto helps marry the flavors. That
said, if you don't have amarretto on hand, it's still good. The
better the fruit you can start with (ideally just ripe), the finer the
result. I like it straight, but it does well over ice cream or
with a crumb topping as a cobbler.
Per nectarine's worth (about three small servings):
1/4 # fresh cherries, pitted and
halved (no substitutes!)
1 ripe nectarine, pitted and chopped
2 ripe plums, pitted and chopped
3 ripe apricots, pitted and chopped
1-2 t sugar, depending on tartness of
2 t amarretto (optional)*
In a heavy saucepan, toss the fruit with the sugar. Let sit for
20-30' to draw out the fruit juices.
Add the amarretto. Set the pan to heat gently and barely simmer
for 15-20', until the fruit is soft but not mushy.
It will develop a most intoxicating fragrance as it cooks; if you can
resist eating it all directly, it keeps beautifully and reheats easily
in the microwave.
Peaches can be added or substituted for some of the nectarines and
apricots, but the cherries are essential.
*Suggested substitutions: 1 t almond extract, or about 1/4 t
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