Recipe: Harvest Fruit Compote

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The thing about fruit compote is that it's almost impossible to create a "recipe." So much is based on personal taste and what's on hand or in season. Sometimes people sub out apples for pears, or peaches for nectarines, or cherries for strawberries, and so on. Think of this as a starter version where you can mess with the balance. Like apples? Add an extra one. Hate strawberries, take 'em out. Like some crunch? Take it off the heat sooner. The best part? This compote is pure fruit — no added sugar (though watch out for all the natural sugar found in stone fruits and berries!).

Recipe: Fall Fruit Compote

Photo by Jordan Shakeshaft

This recipe makes about 6 cups.

What You'll Need:

6 apples (firmer, semi-sweet fruit, like golden delicious or fuji, work best)
3 nectarines
2 plums
8-10 strawberries
1 orange
1/4 of a lemon

What to Do: 

  1. Prep the fruit: Peel the skin off the apples, core, and cut into bite sized pieces. Larger pieces will stay firmer whereas smaller pieces will become softer. Cut the nectarines and plums into comparably-sized pieces. It's fine to leave the skin on. Remove the leaf from the top of the strawberry and slice in half.
  2. In a large pot with a heavy bottom and solid cover, layer the fruit —  apples on the bottom, then the nectarines, then the plums.
  3. Zest about half of the orange over the fruit. Squeeze the 1/4 of a lemon over the top.
  4. Turn the heat to medium-low and cover. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, uncover and stir, evenly distributing the fruit. The compote is done cooking when the apples have softened just to the point that they can easily be broken in half with a spoon but aren't total mush.
  6. Add the sliced strawberries to the top of the pot and cover. Turn down to low heat for one minute, then turn off the heat and let sit.
  7. Serve hot or chilled. Works well over yogurt, ice cream, or all by itself. Will last about a week if properly refrigerated (wait for the compote to cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge).

What's your favorite way to use fresh fruit? Share your ideas in the comments below, or join the conversation on twitter with our health editor @ksmorin!

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Zachary Sniderman
Hey there - I'm the editorial director at Greatist. Before joining the (crazy good) team here, I worked at Vanity Fair and at Mashable, where I...

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