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Fruit Compote


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup prunes
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vailla extract)
  • Pared rind of one lemon
  • Pared rind of one orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 pears, ripe but still firm
  • 2 apples
  • Heavy, ice cream or yogurt for serving
  • Toasted almonds or pecans, optional


Bring 2 cups water to boil in saucepan. Add prunes and apricots and simmer gently until plump, about 20 mins. With slotted spoon transfer fruits to large bowl. Set liquid aside.

In Dutch oven combine remaining cup water, wine and sugar. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla, rinds and cinnamon stick. Heat the syrup until it begins to bubble.

Meanwhile peel and core pears, cut each pear into 6 wedges. Add to simmer and simmer until tender, 8-10 minutes. Use slotted spoon to tranfer pears to bowl with prunes/apricots.

Without peeling the apples cut each into 8 slices. Add to syrup and simmer 3- 5 mins. Use slotted spoon to tranfer to bowl with other fruits and removes rinds and cinnamon stick (and vailla bean, if using).

Add prune/apricot cooking liquid to syrup and bring to boil. Let it bubble steadily for 10 minutes, until thickened. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

Spoon fruits into individual serving bowls add cream or ice cream or yogurt and drizzle with syrup. Sprinkle with nuts if desired.

Note: dried figs, raisins or dried cranberries are good here too!

Boston Globe

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