Stuffed Monster Heads
Flaming Fall Compote
I love flaming desserts. There is something about them that just appeals to the dramatic part of me. I love doing this dish for birthdays (along with our patented "we didn't think the cake could handle so many candles, so we just decided to set the whole dish on fire" comment) but it is also perfect for Halloween. Let jack o'lanterns and this dish briefly be the only light at the party to make a spooky entrance. Regular brandy or apricot brandy can be used in place of the apple brandy if desired. I like serving this compote plain, but it can be served on top of cake, ice cream, or oatmeal cookies.
4 cups apple cider
¼ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
1 cup coarsely chopped unsulphured dried apricots
½ cup dried figs
1 cup coarsely chopped prunes
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried golden raisins
3 peeled and cubed tart apples
1/3 cup apple brandy
Bring the apple cider to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the sugar and the spices and cook until the sugar dissolves. Add the dried fruit and return to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the apples and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Remove the fruit and place in a heat tolerant serving dish. Return the cider to the burner and return to a boil. Boil uncovered for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Pour over the fruit mixture. Heat the brandy in the microwave or small saucepan until warm. Carefully light and pour the flaming brandy over the compote.
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