The combination of chocolate and fruit is one that few can resist, so when I decided to offer this recipe for warm fruit compote, I realized I posted it back in February as a suggested topping for chocolate mousse cake to serve on Valentine’s Day.

Some things simply bear repeating, and with the wealth of late summer / early autumn fruits flooding the markets these days, I feel this lovely compote deserves another show — with or without chocolate. Try it spooned over waffles, pancakes, sponge cake, pound cake, or ice cream. The recipe is featured in Chapter No. 3: Autumn, An Fómhar, in my cookbook Favorite Flavors of Ireland. To order a signed copy with FREE SHIPPING, visit

Autumn Fruit Compote


1 1⁄4 cups dry white wine

1 cup pear nectar

1⁄4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

Zest and juice of 1 orange

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 cinnamon sticks

6 cloves

1 1⁄2 cups mixed, dried fruit, such as chopped apricots, golden raisins, and cranberries

2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 medium ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons pear brandy

1/2 cup blackberries or blueberries (optional)


1. In a large saucepan over medium heat,
 combine wine, pear nectar, brown sugar, zest and juice of orange and lemon, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves.

2. Reduce heat, add dried fruits, apples, and pears. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until apples and pears are nearly tender.

3. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fruits to a bowl and return cooking liquid to pan along with cinnamon sticks and cloves. Boil liquid for about 15 minutes, or until mixture is syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves and stir in brandy.

4. Pour liquid over fruits and mix gently; stir in blackberries, if using. Serve warm or let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Photo: Kshistof | 

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Tags: Cooking, Cuisine, Desserts, Food, Irish Christmas, Menus, Recipes


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