There is nothing like a good neighbor. At my office, I have an incredible neighbor a few doors down in my building. He always has a smile, lends me tools, invites me to play hooky from work and go on his boat in warm weather and recently… brought me an enormous bag of pears from the tree in his backyard. For me, a bag of ripe pears is an invitation and challenge to try something new. That evening, while lightly steaming a few of the pears to make baby food, I was inspired to keep cutting, peeling and cooking to make an “adult” version of the cooked pears.

The warming ginger in this compote is such a nice match with the sweet pears. A touch of vanilla made it even more fragrant. When I returned to the office with a few jars of the Pear Ginger Compote, I was again reminded why I so like my neighbor. He was so excited with my creation that he ate nearly the entire jar with a spoon. He went on to suggest that next year we spend a whole day tending to his tree’s harvest and then to head to a farmer’s market with our product… just for one day… just to see what it is like. That idea is right up my alley. Late next Fall, keep your eyes peeled for a readhead with an open hatchback and jars of Pear Ginger Compote.

Although I don’t have the patience for canning, this would make a wonderful gift this holiday if you jarred it and gave it with a few recipes. This compote would be nice with pork chops and tastes great over oatmeal.

Pear Ginger Compote
about 8 cups pears cut in approx. 1 inch cubes
2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes until pears are very tender. Mash lightly with a potato masher to desired consistency. Continue cooking for about 5-10 minutes until some liquid has cooked off.

I put the warm compote in clean recycled jars. It lasted in the fridge for 2 weeks.