The bright colors and flavors of fresh and dried fruits make a perfect, sweet ending to your repast.
Oranges with Dried Fruit Compote
This fruity dessert is light, yet sweet and satisfying. It balances tart, sweet, and herbal flavors with the salty crunch of nuts. Navel oranges have the convenience of being seedless, but temples, tangelos, tangerines, or clementines are available and very good at this time of year.
1 cup fresh-squeezed or not-from-concentrate orange juice
1/2 cup pitted dates, sliced crosswise
1/3 cup prunes, chopped
1 teaspoon orange-flower water
1/2 teaspoon rosewater (optional)
20 fennel or anise seeds, bruised (slightly pounded to release the essential oil)
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1. Pour the orange juice into a large measuring cup, or a jar with a lid. Add the chopped dates and prunes, orange-flower and rosewater (available at gourmet and health food stores, Middle Eastern groceries, and confectionary stores), and the bruised fennel or anise seeds. Stir the ingredients with a fork or put the lid on the jar and shake well to combine ingredients. Let the sauce stand at cool room temperature while you prepare the fruit. The sauce can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated.
2. Peel the oranges and halve them lengthwise. Cut them crosswise into slices. Arrange in a shallow bowl or deep platter.
3. Pour the sauce over the arranged fruit and let stand for at least 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle pistachios over the fruit just before serving