fruit compote with pound cake fruit compote with pound cake Israeli Kitchen Fruit compote gets an adult upgrade. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Drunken fruit compote

Traditional holiday fruit compote gets a flavor and presentation boost with semi-sweet wine and the best pound cake you can find.

  • Yield: Serves 6-8
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours

One of the "delicacies" my grandmother and the rest of her generation enjoyed was fruit compote. Never wanted to touch the stuff until a few years ago when suddenly it became a delicacy to me, too. I’m not sure if it’s my age, or if this "ain’t my grandma’s compote." Either way, I’m glad to be able to enjoy a lighter dessert, perfect for the holidays after a rich, heavy meal. And of course, with the store bought pound cake, it’s a cinch to put together.

If that’s not enough to get you reaching for the prunes, er, dried plums, read on. Simmering compote causes deliciously tantalizing smells to waft from your kitchen to the point that the whole neighborhood will be sniffing at your door and begging for a holiday dinner invite.

Who says you need to slave away to impress? Not moi.


  • 2 pears, seeded and scored
  • 1 cup dried plums
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet white wine*


Cut all fruit into 1-inch chunks and place in medium pot. Add cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla bean and water.

Cover and bring to a low simmer. Tilt lid, and continue to simmer until fruit is softened and fragrant. Add wine, stir and simmer 5-10 more minutes. (*If you prefer to keep the dish non-alcoholic, you can sub pomegranate juice for the wine.)

Remove from heat, and discards pods and cinnamon sticks.

To serve, slice pound cake into thick slices, and place a heaping spoonful of the drunken fruit on the edge of the slice.

Related Topics: Baking, Desserts, Entertaining

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