Beyond jam and wine, I’m hard-pressed for recipes starring grapes. Grapes, as far as I’m concerned, are nearly perfect in their natural,unadorned state, fresh off the vine.
Heart-healthy and handy, grapes make the best of snacks. They add a whole bunch of elegance to to a plate of cheese or a tray of pastries. What else to do with them, but munch and enjoy.
But now that it’s “crushing season” for wine making - I find a medley of Michigan grapes available in abundance in the stores, all calling for a little culinary imagination.
Close to jam, but not nearly as work-intensive, there’s compote. The easiest of recipes and a good way to highlight apples now in season, cranberries now stockpiled for the holidays ahead...and the last of the summer berries.
So here you have it: an apple-cranberry-grape-and-a-handful-of-raspberry compote. Think of it as a fruit pie without the pastry, a tasty topping over pancakes and waffles or a complement to oatmeal in the morning. —Vivian Henoch
apples, cored and peeled ("Mix and match" McIntosh and Granny Smith)
In a saute pan, melt butter. Add fruit and sugar. Cook until apples are softened and cranberries are tender. The liquid from the fruit should be sufficient, but if fruit mixture begins to stick to pan, add up to a quarter cup of water (or juice).
Add cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, lemon, jam and salt to taste. Stir.
Serve warm over ice cream. Add to your holiday repertoire as a sweet side with savory meats and poultry. Enjoy over pancakes or waffles. Or add for oomph over oatmeal.