An assortment of your favorite dried fruits, gently macerated overnight in a spiced wine mixture then baked in the oven until plump and flavorful, the wine reduced to a ruby syrup. This is one of my favorite side dishes on a Thanksgiving or Christmas table. When I brought it back home one year, my baby sis gleefully dubbed this “Compost!” Our family has called it so ever since…
I imagine this dish would work well at many holidays, and the fruit can be varied to any kind you like or whatever will go with the meal. I always make sure there are some dried figs in it, but this can be made with a mixture of just about anything or the flavor profile may be carefully orchestrated to just a few complementary flavors. The cost varies depending on what types of fruit is added and what kind of wine is used.
Since dried fruit is always on sale during the “trifecta” of Winter Holidays, I take the opportunity to replenish my supplies and often just put whatever fruits in this that I may have left from the previous year. The wine/sugar maceration plumps them up beautifully!
Sometimes I serve this instead of the ubiquitous cranberry sauce, sometimes in addition to it. It keeps, tightly covered, in the fridge for a week or two, at least and is also a great make ahead side. Any left over is always good, and I often chop this (a bit messy) and use it to make the old classic Thumbprint cookies. Cranberry sauce works well in those, too.
Compote: Winter Fruits in Spiced Wine
- 5 cups mixed dried fruits (you may wish to slice larger fruits)
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 lemon peel
- 1 orange peel
Mix wine and sugar in a bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add the rest of the ingredients and chill overnight. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour, basting now and then until fruit is plumped and softened and wine is reduced to a syrup. (Keep in mind the syrup will thicken more if it’s chilled.) Watch carefully in the last 15 minutes.
Serve warm or chilled on a Holiday buffet table. Left overs make an interesting addition to vanilla ice-cream.
from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
- Dried Fruit: is not always the cheapest thing to buy (if you make your own, it’s a different story) but the fall/winter holidays is a great time to buy with coupons and sales.
- Wine: I really shop the sales and speak to the employees – I find I can find great wines for a pittance. If you have a wine shop you like, I find you can get mailings or emails for their best sales – often in the fall and spring. You’d be surprised at the bargains you can get and how long you can use a bottle for quick little recipes.