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Warm Grape Compote with Lemon Pound Cake

INGREDIENTS:½ cup sugar
¼ cup verjus*
18 red grapes
18 green grapes
18 blue-black grapes
2 Tbsp. butter
as needed, vanilla bean ice cream

Miniature Lemon Pound Cakes:
1 cup (½ lb.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. finely chopped lemon zest
2 cups sugar
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups cornmeal
½ tsp. salt DIRECTIONS:To make compote, add sugar to verjus and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Add grapes and simmer over medium heat for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until incorporated. Place individual warm cakes (recipe follows) in large soup bowls or high-rimmed plates. Place a scoop of ice cream on top of cake and ladle compote around.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Beat butter, lemon zest and all but 1 Tbsp. of sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the extracts, baking soda and sour cream, and mix. Combine flour, cornmeal and salt, and mix. Whip the egg whites until stiff, but not dry, and fold into the batter. Line 3-inch (1 ½ inch deep) ring molds with aluminum foil on the bottom; butter and flour foil bottom and sides. Fill ½ full. Sprinkle tops of cakes with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool, unmold and trim to level. Wrap and hold until ready to re-warm and plate. *Verjus can be purchased at gourmet food stores. Use red verjus if available. SERVINGS:16 servings From:Christopher Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL. PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: CALIFORNIA TABLE GRAPE COMMISSION