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Fall Fruit Compote

2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup sugar
4 (2 1/2- by 1/2-inch) strips fresh lemon zest
1 cinnamon stick, halved
3 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns, cracked
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 firm pears, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges with core removed
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
4 dried Calimyrna figs, quartered
2 tablespoons Calvados
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Bring apple juice, sugar, zest, and spices to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and simmer 5 minutes. Add butter, pears, and dried fruit and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pears are tender, about 25 minutes. Pour liquid through a sieve into another saucepan and boil until reduced to cup. Pour liquid back over fruit and stir in Calvados and lemon juice. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: www.epicurious.com