The Back Story (As you may recall)
Me: “I’m a sucker for romantic stories.”
Nicole: “Please, there was no story with my ex. When I met him my lips were stained purple with Malbec.”
Somehow that became one of my favorite stories anyway. Purple lips. Sometimes they are sought. More often than not, they appear before you know it, and even more often, you find yourself flirting through purple lips you didn’t even know you had. On other occasions, that lip stain is the goal of the evening. This was one such occasion. We were gathering around the table to be ladies with purple lips. The menu in my head filled the table with purple foods for the occasion. The song in my head was this.
The Dessert: Almond-Pear Wine Tizzy
16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for preparing pan
1 ½ cup sugar in the raw
1/2 cup local honey
4 eggs (local/free-range)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoon organic almond extract
Grated zest of one lemon
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup almond slivers
2 Tablespoons Wine jelly
Center a rack in oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet.
Pour sugar and honey into a medium bowl. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended.
Whisk in salt, vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon zest.
Use a spatula to stir in the whole-wheat pastry flour and almond flour.
Add the almonds and jelly.
Finally, fold in melted butter.
Scrape batter into prepared skillet or pan and smooth top with rubber spatula.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and a little crisp on outside; the inside will remain quite moist.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Pear Port Compote
½ cup port wine
½ cup water
½ cup sugar in the raw
1 bosch pear, sliced
Combine the port wine, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Continue to simmer until slightly thickened.
Add the pear slices and stir over low heat until slightly softened.
Arrange the pear slices over the cake. Drizzle remaining sauce over the pears and cake.
Garnish with almond slices.
1 cup organic heavy cream
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons local honey
Combine all three ingredients in a chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until stiff peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to use.
Serve with a few glasses of red, lip-staining wine!
(More on the purple lips dinner to come!)