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6 to 8 servings

½ pound pitted prunes

2 cups red wine, not too tannic (see note)

¼ cup mild honey, such as clover

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1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise

1 cinnamon stick

2 strips orange or lemon zest

1. Place prunes into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for five minutes, then drain.

2. Meanwhile, combine wine and honey in a medium saucepan. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape seeds from the vanilla bean halves into wine and add pods. Add cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer five minutes.

3. Add prunes to wine and bring back to a simmer. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add zest. Remove cinnamon stick.

4. Cover and let sit for at least two hours before serving. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled. Prunes will keep for one to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Use a light and fruity wine, like a gamay, Beaujolais or Côtes du Luberon, or something a little richer and full-bodied, like a pinot noir.

— Martha Rose Shulman, The New York Times

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