Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Savour the versatility of fruit compotes

Signe Langford
Photography by
Signe Langford

These sweet condiments have made the leap from desserts to entrées

Beef and some fish are the only meats not perfectly suited to enjoying with fruit. Here’s a list of some of the tastiest combos:

  • Duck with cherries, grapes and blueberries
  • Chicken with apples and peaches
  • Pork or wild boar with apricots, peaches, pears, cherries, and any berry
  • Bison and venison with blueberries, Saskatoon berries and any wild, woodsy berry.
  • Scallops with apples, pears and rhubarb
  • Salmon with apples, pears and Saskatoon berries

Compote tips

  • The key to a compote more suitable for dinner than dessert is balance. It needs to be sweet without being overly so. A hit of acidity takes the edge off the sweetness and gives it dimension and a good splash of alcohol makes it all grown up and entrée-worthy.
  • Fruit compote can also be made from frozen or dried fruits, so the end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of this gourmet treat. The holidays are a perfect time for compote served with ham, the bird, or even with the cheese coarse. 
  • Sugar isn’t the only way to sweeten the pot: try honey, maple syrup, fruit syrups or agave nectar.
  • Best boozes for compotes: brandy—pear or apple, cognac, port, even some big wines will work. Think high-alcohol, deep, fruity, New World shiraz reduced with purple grapes and a veal stock, served with bison.  


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