Pear & Dried Fruit Compote
For the compote, I deferred to my friend Amy, the mastermind behind Lemon Bird Preserves. She’s a huge Francophile like me, and is a French-style preserves master. Here’s the condiment she concocted, which I then paired with the pillowy Le Cornilly. This cheese’s hay notes were rather pronounced when I tasted it on its own, but the compote highlighted the cheese’s milky qualities. It would pair well with other cheeses also! Go ahead, make it and play around with your own pairings!
- 8 dried figs diced small
- 2 tablespoons good-quality brandy
- 3 ripe Bartlett pears
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup dried apricots diced small
- 3 tablespoons local wildflower honey
- 2 teaspoons candied ginger diced fine
- 1 large orange
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ cup walnuts
- Place the diced figs in a small bowl and cover with brandy. Macerate them for 10-15 minutes.
- Peel, halve, and remove core from the pears; cut them into medium (bite) size pieces. Place the pears into a medium-sized, heavy-bottom pan, and cover with sugar while preparing other ingredients.
- Measure the raisins, apricots, honey, ginger, allspice, and walnuts. Chop your apricots and ginger into small dice.
- Using a vegetable peeler or small knife, remove three large strips of peel from the orange; cut strips lengthwise into thin slices. Juice the orange to measure ¼ cup juice.
- Add the macerated figs, raisins, apricots, honey, ginger, allspice, orange zest strips, and orange juice to the pan with the pears.
- Heat the mixture on low, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium high; bring all the ingredients to boil, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes. The compote may foam. Reduce heat if it goes to a hard boil.
- When pears begin to turn translucent, reduce heat to low and simmer 3-5 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Turn off heat when pears are translucent, and stir in ½ cup walnuts. Cool for 2-3 minutes without stirring. Serve warm or at room temperature with Le Cornilly!
Store your compote in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This recipe wasn’t tested for canning, so I can’t speak to that. However, it’s best to consume it within 90 days.