Slow Cooked Fruit Compote Recipe

Can a gorgeously decadent dessert be made light? Even better, can it be made without sugar? The answer is a double 'Yes.'

The secret is in the fruit. Making use of the ripest, juiciest, most bursting-from-their-flesh succulent fruits you can find at the farmer's market or produce stand ensures a dish that's full of natural sweetness. The fact that it can be made in your slow cooker just makes it even better, as you can serve your guests a fancy-looking dessert without turning on the oven.

Fruit compotes have a long history in gourmet dining, and almost every country has its own version: komposta in Greece and kompot in Russia, for example. The best-known compotes are those of the French, and as you'd expect of French cooking, they're usually cooked with copious amounts of butter.

I wager that you'll find this slow cooker fruit compote recipe is even better than the classic French versions. As good as a stick of butter can be, nothing is better than the taste of the fruit itself, and no amount of excess fat can really make it any better. A friend of mine is fond of saying "Ingredients don't get any better when you cook them,"  strongly believing (as I do) that starting with good food means you end with good food.

Your mother or your grandmother likely has or had a compote dish, and it might even be lurking around somewhere. Usually made of lovely colored glass, they resemble a bowl on a footed pedestal. If you have one, dust it off and make it a centerpiece, filled with this luscious slow cooker compote.

Slow Cooker Fresh Fruit Compote Recipe

  • 2 fresh pears, sliced (peeled, or with peels on for a more rustic look)
  • 2 fresh peaches, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cups pineapple juice, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 lemon cut into thin slices
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 large banana, sliced
  • 1 handful fresh mint sprigs, chopped roughly (optional)

Directions: Combine ingredients except for bananas and mint in slow cooker crock. Stir briefly. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Remove lemon slices, and stir in bananas and mint just before serving.

Serving Suggestions: Serve fruit compote in bowls topped with light whipped cream, creme fraiche, or reduced fat Cool Whip. For a brunch treat, serve slow cooker compote alone, or use it to top French toast, whole wheat pancakes, or waffles.

Change up the fruits if you like. Mandarin oranges, fresh cherries, berries, or apples can replace any of the fruits. Try making a compote in your slow cooker with pears only, and add a slosh of red wine. Add nuts at the end for a bit of crunch, or sprinkle with granola.

I can't imagine a better way to get your daily fruit allowance.

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