You could substitute different fruits in this delicious compote, such as oranges, pears, or figs; the idea is to have a mixture of dried and fresh fruit (all dried fruit is too heavy), and be sure to include the sliced banana. I love the combination of brandy and fruit flavors, and although it is not essential that you serve it with creme frache, I highly recommend it.

SERVES 4

1 cup dried apricots cut into bite-size pieces

ВЅ cup pitted prunes cut into quarters

ВЅ cup golden raisins

1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced

Two 1-inch strips orange peel or lemon peel

1 cinnamon stick

1 cup apple cider or water

1 tablespoon honey

1 medium banana, cut into ВЅ inch slices

3 tablespoons brandy

CrГЁme FraГ®che (optional)

  1. Put everything in a medium saucepan except the banana, brandy, and creme frache, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the orange peel and discard. Pour the compote into a bowl and add the sliced banana and brandy. Toss, then chill at least 1 hour. (If you are going to chill it longer, then cover the bowl.) May be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. In this case don’t add the banana until 1 hour before serving. When you are ready to serve, add a little more brandy if it has been completely absorbed. Serve, as is or with a spoonful of creme frache, in decorative goblets or small dishes.