Make Ahead

Festivus Fruit Compote

December  1, 2010
0 Ratings
Author Notes

Okay, so this is probably too fancy a dish to grace the Festivus buffet table, but I thought the name was kinda cute. Any Seinfeld fans out there?

  • Serves many
  • juice of 1 Meyer lemon, or regular lemon
  • 4 small Lady apples, cut into bite size wedges, seeds removed if they bother you
  • 3 small firm but ripe seckel pears, peeled, quartered, seeds removed yadda yadda
  • 6 kumquats, quartered, any fat seeds removed (optional, but it's fun to say “kumquats”!)
  • 1 clementine, sliced through the equator, seeds removed, then cut into eigths
  • 1 small quince, firm but ripe, cut into skinny wedges or chunks
  • *quinces are really hard, so be careful cutting these!
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • About 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup dried pitted apricots
  • 2 star anise, plus more for garnish
  • 1 large ruby grapefruit, skin removed and segments cut into supremes
  • 1 carambola (star fruit) sliced into stars (totally optional, but really beautiful)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystalized ginger, or to taste (optional)
In This Recipe
  1. In a medium stockpot, toss the apples, pears, kumquats together with the lemon juice. To the pot add everything up to and including the turbinado sugar. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the fruit is tender but not mushy.
  2. With a slotted spoon or spider strainer, scoop out the fruit and place on a cookie sheet to cool.
  3. Add prunes and apricots to the liquid and let steep over low heat for a few minutes until plump but not mushy. Sometimes dried prunes and apricots are super dry or super wet, so adjust your steeping time accordingly. Remove the prunes and apricots and add to the rest of the cooling fruit.
  4. Add the star anise to the liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce by about half or until slightly syrupy, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove and discard the star anise. Spoon in the grapefruit and star fruit pieces just to coat in the syrup and remove these to the rest of the fruit.
  5. If you have one, get a beautiful clear glass bowl ready and place the fruit inside. Pour some of the syrup over top, reserving some for a small pitcher for guests to pour themselves, if there is a lot of syrup. Garnish the fruit with the ginger and extra star anise.
  6. Serve alongside bowls of Greek yogurt, crème fraiche, some lightly spiked whipped cream, or ice cream. Also nice with baked ham and pork roasts.
  7. Festivus for the rest of us!
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