1 1/2 cups Port wine
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (6 inch) piece cinnamon stick
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
2 pears (1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored and sliced into 8 pieces
2-3 peaches (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and sliced into 8 pieces
1 cup green grapes, cut in half
3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons Port wine (slurry)
1 cup blueberries or raspberries, fresh or frozen
In a large saucepan set on high heat, bring the wine, water, vanilla, cinnamon stick, sugar and lemon zest to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the pear and peach slices. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the fruit is easily pierced with a knife. Add the grapes, remove the pan from the fruit to 4 glass goblets or bowls.
Stir the cornstarch slurry into the cooking liquid, return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil to clear and thicken the juices, about 1 minute.
To serve, spoon the sauce over the fruit and top with the berries. This dish can be made ahead of time - it will keep well in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and can be served warm or chilled.
A wonderful way to serve this dish is over Sweetened Polenta. In the recipe for Polenta (see page 150), add 1/4 cup of sugar to the water and salt before bringing it to a boil. Then proceed with the recipe as directed. Place the cooked polenta into a 9 x 9 inch baking dish and allow it to cool. At serving time, cut the polenta into slices and top with the Fruit Compote.