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Peppercorn Winter Fruit Compote with Port and Lemon Zest

(recipe, Sara Perry)


Adults will find this luscious medley of dried fruits, herbs, and spices the perfect partner for gingerbread or plum pudding. It also makes a delicious trifle filling and will sit, side by side, on the dinner plate as an accompaniment to roast turkey or pork tenderloin. This recipe comes from the book [%bookLink code=0811824918 "Christmastime Treats"].


  1. 2 cups port
  2. 1 cup apple cider
  3. ½ cup sugar
  4. Zest of 2 oranges, cut into strips
  5. Juice of 2 oranges
  6. Juice of 1 lemon
  7. 4 bay leaves
  8. 2 cinnamon sticks, each 3 inches long
  9. 8 whole cloves
  10. 8 whole peppercorns
  11. 2 packages (8 ounces each) mixed dried fruits, larger pieces coarsely chopped
  12. ½ cup dried cranberries
  13. ½ cup golden raisins


  1. In a saucepan with a lid, combine the port, cider, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour to blend the flavors. Stir in the dried fruits and continue to simmer for 30 minutes longer. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand until cool.


The compote can be made up to 2 weeks in advance, and stored, covered, in a cool place. As it sits, it will absorb some of its liquid. This recipe comes from Sara Perry's article on holiday desserts.