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Jean Allsopp Photo by: Jean Allsopp

Spiced Fig-and-Zinfandel Compote

Coastal Living JULY 2005

  • Yield: Makes 1 3/4 cups


  • 3/4 cup diced dried Mission figs
  • 1/2 cup diced dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups Zinfandel wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 (1/2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Combine first 5 ingredients in a nonaluminum saucepan, and let stand 30 minutes.

Place a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot; add coriander seeds and next 5 ingredients, and cook, stirring constantly, until spices are toasted. Transfer spices to a clean coffee grinder and grind until fine. Set aside 1 tablespoon spice mixture. Reserve remaining ground spices for other uses.

Bring fruit mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 35 minutes or until thickened. Add lemon juice, honey, salt, and 1 tablespoon reserved ground spice mixture to fruit mixture; cool.

Note: We prefer toasted and freshly ground whole spices, but you can substitute prepared ground spices in the following proportions: 3/4 teaspoon coriander, 3/4 teaspoon fennel, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon clove, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.