Fall Fruit Compote with Molasses Yogurt

Preparation info

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Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

A simple, old-fashioned dessert, made with a combination of fresh and dried fruits. Using a dessert wine gives intensely concentrated fruit flavor. Likely choices include Chateau St. Jean’s late-harvest Riesling or Gewürztraminer, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, or of course, Sauternes, the prototype for them all. With our Buttermilk Biscuits, this makes a terrific shortcake.


  • 3 cups unsweetened apple juice or cider
  • 1 slice (about ¼ inch) ginger
  • 2 firm-ripe Comice or Anjou pears (about 1 pound)
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • cup dried apricot halves (about 2 ounces)
  • 6 pitted prunes
  • ½ cup lowfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon molasses, preferably dark, or honey
  • 2 tablespoons sliced unblanched almonds
  • Julienne strips of lemon zest


    1. Combine the apple juice and ginger in a large shallow saucepan and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, peel, quarter, and core the pears and apples, toss with lemon juice, and add to the saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until pears are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add apricots and prunes, cover, and cook over low heat 5 minutes longer.
    2. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to a shallow bowl. Raise the heat and boil the apple juice, uncovered, until it has reduced to cups. Cool the liquid slightly, then pour it over the fruit. (The fruit mixture can be prepared ahead. Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours. Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving, to return the fruit to room temperature.)
    3. Stir the yogurt and molasses together in a small bowl. Set aside. Toast the almonds in a small dry skillet over low heat until pale golden, about 2 minutes.
    4. Drizzle the fruit lightly with a spoonful of the yogurt mixture. Garnish each serving with a few strips of lemon zest and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.