Melissa Elsmo

This is an efficient dessert/appetizer suited for the “anti-baker” I affectionately call,” cheeses and things in jars.” A trio of thoughtfully prepared fruit compotes, keep for weeks, and ensure you’ll be ready for your next cocktail soiree or unexpected house guest. 

Goat Cheese with Blueberry-Cherry Compote and Almonds 

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil 
  • 2/3 Cup Red onion, minced 
  • ½ teaspoon of salt 
  • 1 ½ Cups Fresh blueberries 
  • 1 Cup White Sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon of Water 
  • 1 Tablespoon Blueberry Balsamic vinegar or regular balsamic vinegar
  •  1 ½ Cups Dried tart cherries 
  • ¼ Cup Fresh mint leaves, chopped 
  • Goat Cheese, Toasted Almond Slivers, Crackers and Crostini for Serving 

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the red onion and the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened, but not brown (about 6 minutes). Add the blueberries, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the blueberries release their juice and the sugar dissolves. Remove the pot from the heat and mix in the dried cherries and mint. Strain the mixture reserving both the solids and the liquid. Transfer the solids to a clean 16oz mason jar and top with ¼ cup of the reserved liquid. Cover and allow compote to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for up to two weeks. Serve with crackers or crostini as a topping for goat cheese. Garnish with toasted almond slivers and mint leaves. 

Brie Cheese with Cranberry-Rosemary Compote and Pecans 

  • 1-16oz Bag fresh cranberries 
  • 1 Cup White sugar
  •  ½ Cup White wine 
  • 1-2 Sprigs of rosemary, needles removed and chopped 
  • 1 Large strip of Orange Zest pierced with 1 whole clove 

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and cranberries begin to pop. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until nearly all berries have burst. Remove the orange peel and discard. Transfer the cranberry compote to a clean 16oz mason jar. Cover and allow compote to come to room temperature. Refrigerate for up to two weeks. Serve with crackers or Crostini as a topping for Brie Cheese. Garnish with toasted pecans and rosemary sprigs. 

Cheddar Cheese with Bacon, Apricot and Mustard Compote 

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil 6 Slices of bacon, chopped 
  • ½ Large Yellow onion, sliced 
  • 1 ½ Cups Dried apricots, chopped 
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon Yellow mustard seeds 
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole grain mustard 

1/3 Cup White wine 2 Tablespoons Cider vinegar Put the olive oil, bacon and onions in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently until bacon is crisp and onions are tender. Add the remaining ingredients, reduce head to medium-low, and cook until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Transfer the bacon-apricot compote to a clean 16oz mason jar. Cover and allow compote to come to room temperature. Refrigerate for up to one week. Serve with crackers or crostini as a topping for cheddar cheese. Garnish with green apple slivers.

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