Elevate breakfast with pear compote

Make the most of an abundance of pears with this easy-to-make, versatile recipe

Pear compote served over ice cream.

Photo: Maria Stordahl Nelson
Make it once, enjoy it throughout the week—this compote can be served over ice cream, with pancakes, or any way you desire!

Maria Stordahl Nelson
Seattle, Wash.

For years I’ve been a fan of fruit compotes. Simple, easy to prepare, and an efficient use of fruit that may have gone a little soft, they’ve been a staple in my kitchen for as long as I’ve been cooking. Years ago, as a newly married, full-time working student with little time on my hands, they quickly became a go-to recipe for me. Perfect for mixing in yogurt with granola on busy mornings or even just devouring straight from the pan for a quick after-dinner dessert.

An excellent accompaniment to ice cream, compotes also featured prominently on childhood Saturday mornings when my mother would serve them alongside pancakes and waffles. I have fond recollections of fluffy, giant slices of Dutch Baby pancake drowning in rhubarb compote on cold weekend mornings. It was pure comfort—rich memories that evoke to this day all the warmth of a happy childhood, nurtured and centered around a generous table.

Over the years, I developed a simple, straightforward recipe that can be used with any fruit. As we approach the season of apples and pears, my favorite fruits for this recipe, I’m already planning my first pancake weekend to whip up a warm, bubbling batch. I’ve used minimal amounts of sugar here as I think too much overwhelms the natural sweetness of the pears. Cardamom brings the perfect counterpoint of cozy, Nordic spice, and the nob of butter at the end helps all the flavors meld deliciously together. A little sprinkling of gingersnaps doesn’t hurt either.

Cut-up pears.

Photo: Maria Stordahl Nelson

Cardamom Pear Compote
4 large Bosc pears, or an equivalent mixture of Bosc and Seckle pears, peeled, cored & diced
1 tsp. cardamom, coarsely ground
4 tbsps. maple sugar or brown sugar
1 tbsp. water
2 tbsps. unsalted butter
¼ tsp. kosher salt
crumbled gingersnap/pepperkaker cookies

In a medium saucepan, combine the pears, cardamom, sugar, and water. Heat over medium low, stirring occasionally until the pears begin to break down and become sauce-like, 10 minutes or so. I prefer to leave the compote with larger chunks, but if you like a sauce-like version, cook until smooth. Remove from heat and add the butter and salt.

Serve immediately if desired over pancakes, yogurt, or vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle gingersnaps over all and serve.

Maria Stordahl Nelson is a Seattle-area food writer, photographer, and recipe developer. She shares her love of all things sweet, savory, and sometimes Nordic at www.pinkpatisserie.net.

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 6, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.