Friday, May 16, 2008

Tropical Fruit Compote

Star fruit is the new bane of my existence! I went to eight - count them, 8 - grocery stores in an attempt to find this tropical fruit (more properly called the carambola). When even the grocers in Chinatown who spoke no English didn't have this product in stock, I knew it was time to find a substitute.

So I turned to Google, my dear good vegan friend, and found out that the star fruit is in season in the winter, hence all my difficulty (which made me mad at my cooking magazine because it's supposed to be seasonal and this is the May issue!) The best substitute offered up by the web is melon. So in the recipe below, I use one cup honeydew melon instead of one cup star fruit. But by all means, if you can find the elusive star fruit, use it!

In a small saucepan, combine one cup water and 1/2 cup raw sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for three minutes until the sugar dissolves. Add 4 (1/8-inch thick) slices of fresh ginger, 3 star anise, and one cinnamon stick. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the mixture reduces to about 1/2 cup. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind and 1/2 cup Riesling or other sweet white wine.

Here's the company email from Chateau St-Michelle (an easy to find, inexpensive California riesling) "Thank you for contacting Chateau Ste. Michelle. I checked with
our winemaker as was told that "all non-Riesling whites starting with 2003 vintage are NOT Vegan. So it looks like the Chateau Ste. Michelle
Rieslings and Eroica would be vegan friendly." That's just one option; Google for others

Cool the mixture completely. Once cool, strain through a sieve and discard the solids.

Meanwhile, chop up 3 cups peeled, cubed mango, 3 cups peeled, cubed papaya, and one cup star fruit (or melon). Pour the wine mixture over the fruit and chill for 30 minutes.

Rather fortuitously, I am home visiting my mom as I make this recipe and she had... a star-shaped cookie cutter! So to preserve the authenticity of this recipe as I take a picture for the blog, I cut out my melon into the shape of stars.

This compote is actually a dessert more than a fruit salad, so share with the whole family. Six, one-cup servings of 170 calories each.

organic sugar $3.40
Riesling $17
mango $4.98
papaya $4.38
honeydew melon $3.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance