Robert Wemischner, Professor of Baking and Pastry at Los Angeles Trade Technical College and author of The Dessert Architect. He says this recipe for Plummy Tea Sangria is a great way to incorporate farmers’ market fruit into a refreshing beverage for 4th of July.
Market Recipe: Plummy Tea “Sangria”
Plummy Tea “Sangria”
Makes 1 quart (recipe can be scaled up in direct proportion as desired)
Imbued with the tart and sweet flavors of the summer’s bounty of plums, this tea-toting refresher marries three favorite flavors: fruit, tea and spice with a slightly Asian accent. Added at the last minute before serving, The spiced syrup component can be used at your discretion depending on how sweet and spiced you wish the beverage to be. Taste a full bouquet of plums at the farmers market and then decide which to include. I like the dark burgundy ones with their almost black skin and red wine colored flesh. Santa Rosa or Casselman or yellow fleshed Kelsey varieties are also favorites but feel free to choose and use what’s best at the market. Also, don’t hesitate to spike the drink with a shot of your favorite red wine and pour, fruit and all, into glasses filled with ice.
For the spiced syrup
7 ozs (approx 1 c.) granulated sugar
12 ozs water
2 whole cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
Bring the sugar and water to the boil. Add the spice and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool and place the syrup with its spices into a container with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate until ready to use. This keeps well so whatever you don’t use now will keep for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
For the fruited tea
2 lbs. assorted plums, cut into slices or slabs, pits removed
Place prepared plums into a heatproof bowl or other vessel. Set aside. Now brew the tea.
1 quart of brewed tea (I like to use 10-15 grams of whole leaf black tea from China or India with a quart of good quality water, brought to the boil, infused for 3 minutes) but tea bags of good quality will work as well
Bring the water to the boil. Add the tea and allow to steep for 3 minutes. Decant, sieving out the tea leaves, or removing the tea bags. Pour immediately over the plums and let stand until cool. Add more water to dilute to the strength you enjoy. Place into a large bowl or pouring vessel. Stir in however much you wish of the spiced syrup, taste to check sweetness, then pour over ice and enjoy!