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Dry Jack With Winter Fruit Compote



– 6 whole dried apricots, halved – 4 whole dried pear halves, coarsely chopped – 4 whole dried calimyrna figs, halved – 2 tablespoons golden raisins – 2 tablespoons dried cranberries – 6 whole fresh thyme sprigs, divided – 1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3 pieces – 1 bay leaf – 4 cracked peppercorns – 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons each, Pear Williams liqueur and cognac – 8 ounces Real California dry jack cheese, cut into thin slices or shaved with a cheese plane snack
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1. In medium saucepan, place apricots, pears, figs, raisins, cranberries, 2 of the thyme sprigs, the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and peppercorns. Add liqueur and stir well.

2. Bring mixture to a slow simmer, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Repeat this process 2 more times. If mixture gets too dry, add a little to remoisten. The sauce should be syrupy.

3. Cover and refrigerate mixture for several hours to allow flavors to mellow. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf before serving.

4. Bring compote to room temperature before serving. For each serving, plate 2 ounces cheese. Accompany with 1/4 fruit mixture. Garnish with remaining thyme sprigs.