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Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by chef Peter Pastan’s recipe in Food and Wine Magazine, October 2008. Côgnà (pronounced C??-gna) is a Piedmontese conserve traditionally made with red wine must and fall fruits and nuts, typically hazelnuts and/or walnuts. This bold compote has a sweetness somewhere between a jam and a chutney. It’s right at home on a cheese plate, and a perfect partner for braised and roasted meats. —Bob Vivant
Makes 4 cups
- 1 750ml bottle young, fruity red wine (Beaujolais or Zinfandel)
- 1 pound fresh figs
- 6 pears
- juice of one lemon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange rind, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 whole cloves
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and roughly chopped
- Combine all the ingredients except for the hazelnuts in a large bowl. Refrigerate and let macerate for an hour.
- Pour the contents of the bowl into a large, non-reactive pan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until very thick and reduced, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Stir in the hazelnuts and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
- Process the conserve immediately using your method of choice. If you’re a canning novice, The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a great resource. Or skip the canning step and refrigerate your Côgnà for up to three months.