Poached Dried Fruit
In a large pot, combine wine, water, honey, anise and lemon peel strips and bring to a simmer over low heat. Add apricots and pears. If necessary, add more water to cover the fruit. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add cherries or raisins, cover and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the fruit is tender. Remove zest from pot. (The compote can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.) Serve hot, warm or cool with some of the liquid.