Dress up your cheese plate with Figgy Cherry Compote. Fresh lemon zest and ginger give this delicious dried fruit spread just the right amount of zing.
Inspired by Real Simple
I’m always looking for quick appetizer ideas that I can serve my family and friends before dinner or a holiday meal like Thanksgiving. Flipping through an old recipe file, I came across a beautiful holiday cheese display with a dried fruit compote from the magazine Real Simple. This compote and cheese board is a pared down version of that gorgeous photo.
A fifteen minute recipe!
- Figs and dates work as natural binders to make this jewel toned, deeply flavorful refrigerator jam.
- Serve with crackers or ginger snaps and cream cheese.
- Vegans: use a cream cheese substitute like Tofutti or Go Veggie.
DIY idea: Instead of buying that expensive brie or goat cheese, make your own cream cheese ball for about $1:
- Load 8 oz softened or whipped cream cheese into a small bowl or dish lined with plastic wrap. Pack cheese down into the bowl with the back of a spoon, then smooth the top and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble.
- Turn cream cheese ball/tower over onto your cheese plate and remove the plastic.
- Top with some sesame seeds, chopped roasted nuts, fruit zest or herbs.
- Stand back and get ready for the compliments!
Last night, I set out this fruit spread and cream cheese tray instead of dessert. My sweetie loaded crackers and ginger cookies with cream cheese and compote, took a bite and said, “Mmm, that was GOOD!”
with other combinations of dried fruit, like apricots (in photo above) or raisins. Instead of lemon and ginger, you could add in a splash of orange liqueur or orange zest. Use the compote instead of jam in thumbprint cookies. Small jars of compote make a great hostess gift too!
Figgy Cherry Compote + your new cream cheese trick will make your cheese plate the star of the party!
PIN and Dig in!
Give thanks for these
Other appetizers I love:
- Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Mediterranean Eggplant Dip
- Easy Creamy Lemon Feta Dip
- Gluten Free Almond Crackers
Dress up your cheese plate with Figgy Cherry Compote. Fresh lemon zest and ginger give this easy dried fruit spread just the right amount of zing.
- 2 cups dried fruit (350 gm) (dried figs, cherries, dates, etc…) **
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- zest of one lemon
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or 1/8 teaspoon dried)
- Optional accompaniments: 8 oz cream cheese or vegan cream cheese
- chopped nuts or sesame seeds
- Carrs water crackers or other crackers
- Gingersnap thins
- Sliced apples
** May substitute apricots, raisins or other dried fruit combinations
- Remove stems and seeds from dried fruit. Coarsely chop figs and dates.
- In a large saucepan, combine: figs, dates, cherries, salt, lemon, ginger and 1 cup water.
- Stir and simmer 4-5 minutes, until fruit begins to thicken, then remove from heat.
- Optional cream cheese ball/tower: Load softened or whipped cream cheese into a small bowl or dish lined with plastic wrap. Pack cream cheese down into the bowl with the back of a spoon. Smooth top, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble. Turn cream cheese ball/tower over onto cheese plate (and remove plastic). Top with some sesame seeds or chopped roasted nuts and serve with crackers, gingersnap thins, sliced apples and grapes. Don’t forget to serve with cheese spreaders!
Adapted from and inspired by realsimple.com’s December 2012 Cheese Platter with Dried Fruit Compote.
Nutrition information for Figgy Cherry Compote. Makes 32 servings or about 2 cups.