Compote

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Compote, a sweet stew or cooked salad of fresh and dried fruit, is one of those dishes that pops up in just about every cuisine. Use whatever fruit you can get your hands on. Compote is more a technique than a recipe.

  • 11/2 quarts, about 16 servings ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sugar or honey
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or fresh apple cider
  • 2 1/2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 cup (1 pound) pitted prunes
  • 2 cup fresh pineapple chunks (core removed) or other fresh fruit
  • 2 large apples or pears (3/4 pound), peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup fresh berries (optional)

Preparation

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter (if using). Add the sugar or honey, orange juice, cinnamon stick, bay leaf (if using), and vanilla, and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, then turn down the heat to a slow simmer. Add the prunes and cook for about 8 minutes until soft. Add the pineapple or fruit chunks, and apples or pears, cover and continue cooking just until the fruit is tender but not falling apart, about 10 minutes. Add the fresh berries (if using), and cook just until soft. The compote should have a loose consistency, somewhere between a jam and a sauce; add more orange juice if the mixture thickens too much. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.