Pear Compote with Fennel Seed and Honey

Ingredients for 1 serving

6 pears

1/4 cup water

4 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 lemon, juiced (and zested, if desired)

Pear Compote with Fennel Seed and Honey


One of the biggest differences between compote and jam is that jam is preserved for later use while compote is and should be enjoyed sooner. The ingredients are fairly similar, although jam is cooked longer and a gelling agent is usually added. Compote also contains less sugar because it isn’t needed as a preservative. With that said, both taste fabulous with cheese. And don’t worry – compote can last in the fridge as long as it is stored in an airtight container.

The most common sweetener is sugar, but this recipe uses honey instead to add a somewhat fragrant dimension. The addition of fennel seed also serves to give it a slight anise/licorice flavor, which works well with pears. Make sure to add a little lemon juice to taste to balance out the sweetness. 

Pears vary greatly on cook-time, as tenderness varies. Ripeness also plays a part. If your pears are very hard, they won’t necessarily turn nice and soft. If they’re very ripe, they may only need to be cooked briefly. So keep an eye on the pot if you want a compote with some structure.

  1. Peel and core the pears, then cut into smaller pieces. Put them in a pot with water and boil for about 7-10 minutes until slightly tender. 
  2. Add honey and fennel seeds. Continue to cook until desired consistency is reached. Add lemon to taste. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  3. Pour into a jar or plastic container if it is to be served at a later time. 

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