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Prune, Pear and Saffron Compote recipe

MMRuth Oct 26, 2007 05:53 AM

Posting this here per another poster request. It's paraphrased from Patricia Well's Vegetable Harvest and made buying this otherwise disappointing book worthwhile. Ironically, while searching for it, I found it at the bottom of the newspaper recycling pile!

It's delicious with blue cheese - I've been serving Bleu de Gex lately. I also like to add some roasted hazelnuts on the side.

8 oz Prunes (she says 20, but mine must have been smaller - I think this would be particularly good with Prunes d'Agen, which tend to be larger - I've not had any on hand)
3 Firm Pears
Pinch of Saffron Threads
1/2 cup "best quality" Sherry Wine Vinegar
1 cup heather honey - couldn't find this, used half lavender honey, half acacia (sp?)

Steep saffron in 1 T hot tap water.
Peel and core pears, and cut into 16ths - I did lengthwise, and I think the second time I cut those in half.
I cut the prunes in half, although not called for.
Combine honey and vinegar in large sauce pan over low heat until honey has melted. Add prunes and pears and simmer for about 15 minutes - fruit will get soft.
Add saffron and steeping liquid and refrigerate. It will still be a little liquidy at this point, but sets up nicely.

Serve slightly chilled with cheese course and can be stored in fridge for up to six weeks. My husband loves it on ice cream.

[16 servings - 113 calories per, 30 g carbs]

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  1. mirage RE: MMRuth Oct 26, 2007 11:56 AM

    Thank you for posting this - it sounds very good.

    1. chef chicklet RE: MMRuth Nov 19, 2007 07:36 AM

      mmruth - you are just wonderful at this. I want to try this plate, and thanks so much for the photos I am such a visual person that I need help like this.
      I am planning a cocktail party this weekend, I'd love to try this one. I'm only having light appetizers, would serve something else too?
      What drinks would serve?

      8 Replies
      1. re: chef chicklet
        MMRuth RE: chef chicklet Nov 19, 2007 07:39 AM

        Hmmm - good question - I'd post it on the Wine board if I were you - they usually have a lot of useful suggestions "over there"!

        And - if you are doing it for a cocktail party/finger food - I'd cut up the pears and prunes into smaller pieces before making it. The way I do it we eat the cheese and compote with a knife and fork.

        1. re: MMRuth
          chef chicklet RE: MMRuth Nov 19, 2007 11:32 AM

          Maybe not the best idea for cocktails for 4 then. I was thinking I could cut them up smaller and put the compote in the center..don't what I was thinking a knife and fork would be difficult. Still beautiful!

          1. re: chef chicklet
            MMRuth RE: chef chicklet Nov 19, 2007 11:33 AM

            Well - if you cut the fruits up smaller, it would be more like a jam that you could spread on something with the cheese on top.

            1. re: MMRuth
              chef chicklet RE: MMRuth Nov 19, 2007 01:34 PM

              Hmmmm. I just love what you make. I find that your food is doable either way and always turns out well. So I will think about this, perhaps I could manage we can all set our plates down we'll be around a round cocktail table with our seating. Not to formal, so I might be able to pull this off.
              I was thinking maybe different crackers for each cheese, drizzle compote and place a half of a nut on top? or chop them. I don't want to ruin your recipe but adapt it to my situation. I love cheese! My plan was to perhaps do a course by course of small plates (not really appetizers) in a casual setting...and this is my first time having them over also.

              By the way I forgot to mention I never could find the squash blossoms (or time it right) but the risotto turned out wonderfully. I went to snap the dinner after plating, looked for the camera only to find my DH took it to work that day, and left it in his desk.....ahem.
              I found it easy to make, and loved the flavors. But then I love squash in any form,but not all risottos. thanks again for that one, I will use it again and since I've done it now, thinking perhaps I'll make it for another dinner I'm having in a week for friends. (my one friend will absolutely devour it, she and I both eat meat but we really love our veggies!)

              1. re: chef chicklet
                MMRuth RE: chef chicklet Nov 19, 2007 01:49 PM

                You really don't need a knife necessarily - I'm sure a fork would work well. Or the idea of putting it on something - it's very rich - works well with the blue cheese - but I'm not sure how much I'd like it with some other cheeses. And by all means - adapt the recipe to your situation - goodness knows it's not mine ;-).

                So glad the risotto worked out well - I think we might have been nearing the end of squash blossom season - though I had some terrible ones at a restaurant Friday night.

                1. re: MMRuth
                  chef chicklet RE: MMRuth Nov 19, 2007 02:03 PM

                  Well I ran around to all the TJ and Wholesale and I would get, no sorry they haven't come in so I didn't know what was going on. I know I have seen them at the above locations before. A day late... still it was delicious. terrible? in what way?

                  Wait, am I reading/seeing your cheese plating wrong, the picture shows several cheeses you only served the compote and hazel nuts with the blue?

                  1. re: chef chicklet
                    MMRuth RE: chef chicklet Nov 20, 2007 03:29 AM

                    The fritters were greasy and the batter was far too heavy/thick.

                    Re: Cheese plate - you're right - I have a photo showing it with different cheeses, but only ate the compote with the slice of blue cheese! Sorry if that was misleading.

                    1. re: chef chicklet
                      MMRuth RE: chef chicklet Nov 20, 2007 03:34 AM

                      Here's one with just the blue cheese:


                      The thing that looks like a cookie is a slice of a fig fennel log that I also made from Vegetable Harvest, but that we did not particularly like!

        2. JasmineG RE: MMRuth Nov 19, 2007 02:31 PM

          Here's a question -- how do you think that this would work with soft pears? Because I have some that need to be used up, and this sounds great to me.

          10 Replies
          1. re: JasmineG
            MMRuth RE: JasmineG Nov 20, 2007 03:30 AM

            Hmm - you might not get quite the same texture, but perhaps you could add the pears half way through the cooking, so they don't get too mushy? I would think the flavor would be the same.

            1. re: JasmineG
              alkapal RE: JasmineG Nov 20, 2007 04:13 AM

              pear cobbler!

              mmruth, did the saffron come through? seems the honey might overwhelm it.

              1. re: alkapal
                MMRuth RE: alkapal Nov 20, 2007 04:28 AM

                It was a very subtle taste of saffron - I do think it adds something, but one could probably omit it as well and it would still be good.

                1. re: MMRuth
                  alkapal RE: MMRuth Nov 20, 2007 04:43 AM

                  mmruth, thanks. i noticed in one photo the compote looks wetter. if you cooked it longer, would it become "jammy"?

                  chef chicklet, a jammy consistency with smaller fruit pieces could be done on cheese as horse doovers (my dad's phrase, rest his soul)..

                  1. re: alkapal
                    MMRuth RE: alkapal Nov 20, 2007 04:47 AM

                    I think so - or one could "drain" it in a strainer.

                    1. re: MMRuth
                      alkapal RE: MMRuth Nov 20, 2007 04:53 AM

                      what sherry wine vinegar do you use?

                      1. re: alkapal
                        MMRuth RE: alkapal Nov 20, 2007 04:54 AM

                        It just depends on what I have on hand, but it is usually one in the $15 range. I usually buy them at a local Spanish food store and have been buying different brands.

                        1. re: MMRuth
                          alkapal RE: MMRuth Nov 20, 2007 05:08 AM

                          thanks, what is that, 12 oz. or so?

                    2. re: alkapal
                      chef chicklet RE: alkapal Nov 21, 2007 09:25 AM

                      That's an excellent idea. I love this plate, I can taste it already. I'm craving that blue cheese and fruity conserve, I bet it is well accepted.

                      1. re: chef chicklet
                        MMRuth RE: chef chicklet Nov 21, 2007 09:26 AM

                        You've both whetted my appetite for this so, if I have time, I'm going to make it for tomorrow (though I'm terribly behind!).

              2. mirage RE: MMRuth Nov 21, 2007 12:02 PM

                I made this yesterday to put on the Thanksgiving table tomorrow. It tastes very good, and I think will be a terrific addition. One of my guests can't have cranberry sauce or gravy. I'm hoping this will go well as the, sort of, wet thing for her and I'm sure other people will like it, too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mirage
                  alkapal RE: mirage Nov 21, 2007 01:06 PM

                  Happy Cooking, Happy Eating, and Happy Thanksgiving, fellow hounds!

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