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Caramelized Winter Fruit Compote

1 c Granulated sugar 250 mL
1/4 c Water 50 mL
2 Apples; peeled and thickly sliced 2
2 Pears; peeled and thickly sliced 2
1/2 c Apricot nectar; orange juice or apple juice 125 mL
1 c Pitted prunes 250 mL
1 c Dried apricots 250 mL
1 c Dried figs 250 mL
2 tb Cognac or brandy; optional 25 mL
1/2 c Soft yogurt cheese or thick yogurt; optional 125 mL


Place sugar and water in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Brush down sides of saucepan with pastry brush dipped in cold water to dissolve any undissolved sugar. Allow mixture to boil without any stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until sauce turns deep caramel colour.


Do not leave stove for a minute, as it could burn, but do not stir!


Carefully add apples, pears and apricot nectar gently, standing well out of way in case of splattering. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until fruit starts to soften.


Add prunes, apricots, figs and cognac. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until all fruit is tender and sauce has thickened. Serve warm or cold. Serve with spoonful of soft yogurt cheese.


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