Pear Port Compote

Like fine wine, ageing improves the flavour of this product. But like all home canned foods, it is best used within a year. Spoon the compote into tart shells or piecrusts. For a rich, decadent dessert, serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream.


  • 10 cups (2500 ml) prepared pears, about 18 medium or 4 ½ lb (2 kg)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Each: dark raisins and golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped dried apricots
  • 1 orange, zest & juice
  • 1 lemon, zest & juice
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) lightly packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) Each: ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) pickling salt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) slivered blanched almonds, optional
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) port wine


  • Place 5 clean 500 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
  • Peel, core and chop pears. Measure 10 cups (2500 ml); set aside.
  • Combine dark and golden raisins, apricots, juice and zest of orange and lemon, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a large stainless steel saucepan.
  • Add pears to fruit mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil gently, covered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Uncover fruit mixture. Boil until thick, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, about 15 minutes. Stir in almonds, if using, and port; boil 5 minutes longer, stirring constantly.
  • Ladle compote into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more compote. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining compote.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 20 minutes.
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.