light-bodied red wine, like beaujolais
almonds, skin on,lightly toasted
whole black peppercorn
grated orange zest, dry or fresh
two inch cinnamon sticks
dried bay leaf
mascarpone cheese, room temperature
sea salt, for serving
- In a medium saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer.
- Add the dates and poach until the skins blister.
- With a slotted spoon, lift out the dates and, while warm, remove and discard the skins.
- Cut open the dates on one long side, remove the pits and place two almonds in the center of each date.
- Fold closed.
- To the wine, add the honey, peppercorns, cloves, orange zest, allspice, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf.
- Continue simmering until the wine is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
- Strain wine into a clean saucepan.
- Add the dates to the wine and heat gently, over a medium low heat, until warmed through, but not hot, then remove from heat.
- To serve, place a dollop of mascarpone in the center of each of four plates.
- Spoon two dates and a little wine sauce on each plate, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and serve.