Meatballs with Savory Blueberry and Pear Compote

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Meatballs with savory blueberry compote, also known in Italy as polpette con milistri, is quite a surprise of tastes and textures. Perfectly tender meatballs spiked with proscuitto, cooked in a brown wine sauce, tucked inside a crown of puff pastry or tart shell, topped with a savory blueberry pear and shallot compote, are the perfect appetizer or main course.  You can use a store bought puff pastry or make a pie crust and adorn it with poppy seeds. I have also made this atop a homemade poppy seed fettuccini.

I first found this recipe in La Cucina Italiana and I was immediately swept into a foodie fantasy, as I am with so many of their enticing modern, yet authentic Italian selections. I could eat their kind of food every night of the week. If I could only subscribe to one magazine, I would never give La Cucina Italiana up. It’s world class in style, yet approachable, non-intimidating, and the pictures alone are worth the price. It’s a style I lean towards. Simple. Clean. Appetizing. They can make a simple dish of pasta look like the last meal for the queen.

Homemade meatballs cooked in a wine sauce and tucked into a pastry shell with a little fresh fruit compote is not deep fried lasagna. It’s still good food, and if eaten in moderation, great food. But, alas, it’s not part of his plan and I looked at Mr. ST and said, “do you want to start the 24 day challenge tomorrow? I’ve made this amazing and unique meat ball dish and you have to try this.”

He didn’t mind one bit. I’ll give a little warning though. This is so good that you probably do want to make this for company so that there are no left overs. You could be easily tempted to eat it all. It’s the kind of good that makes you want to eat it again for breakfast.

Never would I have thought to pair meatballs with blueberries. It works and has opened up a possibility for all kinds of new dishes. The original recipe calls for a combination of veal and pork. I used lean grass fed ground beef and they ended up very tender and quite tasty. Impossible to sample just one.

As far as how to present them, you might experiment. I used a small tart pan to cut out circles and placed them in muffin tins. I baked them frozen and at the last five minutes stuffed them with meatballs. You could make smaller circles and use one meatball and serve as an “amuse bouche.” You could make larger tarts and fill each with six meatballs and serve as an entree with a fresh green salad. You can use a store bought puff pastry or make your favorite pie crust. I used my standard pie crust recipe and deleted the sugar. After rolling, I sprinkled with poppy seeds. I could have made them look a little better, but next time.

The blueberry pear compote is savory, made with a good amount of shallots, and the fruity notes play well off of the proscuitto in the meatballs.

This is a great party dish that can be made ahead of time. The meatballs can mixed and frozen raw or fry them and freeze them cooked (heating up in oven to cook). The compote can be made a day or two ahead and can be frozen.The tart shells can also be made in advance. Freeze prior to baking.

One way we’ve enjoyed this meatball dish in the past is over a homemade poppy seed fettucini.

Tell me, do you love meatballs, and what is your favorite way to eat them?

Pastry Dough recipe can be found  here. Omit sugar.

Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Meatballs with Blueberry Compote

Known in Italy as polpette con composta di mirtilli, a lovely meatball dish, served in a poppy seed tart shell, with a blueberry compote. Adapted from La Cucina Italiana Magazine.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Author: Angela Roberts


  • 1 slice white sandwich bread torn into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 pound grass fed ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 slices proscuitto finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • pastry dough see below for recipe Can substitute with store bought puff pastry
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds optional
  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium pear peeled, cored, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons dry vermouth can use white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  • Make pie dough according to directions found below, or use store bought puff pastry.
  • Combine pork, ground beef and one egg.
  • Add bread, prosciutto, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Combine with hands gently. Do not overwork.
  • Form into 3/4 tablespoon portions and form meatballs. Fry in olive oil for 3 minutes.
  • Add 1/3 cup wine. Reduce heat to low, continue to cook 12 more minutes until wine is reduced. Add 2 tablespoons of butter a little at a time until butter is melted.
  • Roll out pastry dough. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Cut circles with a biscuit cutter and put into small tart pans.
  • Bake covered with parchment paper and pie weights at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights. Bake until golden another 10-12 minutes.


  • Heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium pan. Add shallots, pear and blueberries until cooked through about one minute.
  • Add dry vermouth, sugar, cinnamon, dash salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, continue to cook for about 6-8 minutes, and mash to make a compote consistency.
  • Arrange each tart shell with meatballs. Pour in wine sauce.
  • Top with compote.
  • Serve in larger tart shell as an entree. Serve in smaller tart shells as appetizers


This recipes can be made into entree using a small 4 inch tart shells or smaller appetizers using, cutting into 4 inch rounds and pressing into muffin pans. The original recipe uses 50/50 ratio of veal and ground pork. I used grassfed ground beef and ground pork in 3-1 ratio.

Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe,  please tag me #spinachtiger.

If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo



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  1. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look forward
    to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  2. you’re the forth person in our cooking group, I think, brings savory and sweetness to this challenge. I adore a mini cup (well anything in a mini cup, really!). It’s so cute and perfect for a party. Blurberry and pear compote sounds perfect with meat ball inside a pastry cup!

  3. 5 stars
    ONe of my favorite things, meat and fruit. The silver palate had a blueberry chutney recipe that I put on everything I grilled… the combo is heaven. I have no trouble imagining these meatballs would be super. The pastry shells are a revelation as well… so much more delicious a delivery system than a toothpick! Great Recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      Dear Deana,
      Every year, around Thanksgiving I yearn for The Silver Palate Blueberry Chutney… and “google” it hoping that someone will have posted the recipe somewhere on the internet. This year, your post came up. By any chance, do you still have the recipe? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you would email it to me ( or post it here. It must have been about 25 years ago when we made the switch from cranberry sauce to Silver Palate Blueberry Chutney at Thanksgiving – That was when one could buy it in a jar. Eventually they stopped making it and Thanksgiving hasn’t been the
      same since. I hope that you see this! Thanks in advance, Joan

  4. these sound absolutely divine + so interesting! i’ve had polpette in italy, but never this version, which i’m so intrigued by. i’ll definitely be giving these a try – perhaps as an appetizer for my next dinner party. thanks!

  5. These little meatballs are so cute and I think serving them inside of a pastry shell bowl is such a great idea. Great flavors too!

  6. 4 stars
    I just HAD to comment on how flakey the crust looks like. I’ve tried to make pie crusts and failed and looking forward to trying this. I’ve never heard or tried blitz crust. Gonna search to see what it exactly is compared to regular pie crust, puff pastry.


  7. Angela, so interesting! I bet the sweet, savory combo is really nice here. Prosciutto is always good with fruit and I bet there are a lot of flavors at play.
    Have a good weekend!

  8. Kudos to you for getting these up in the midst of all your blog chaos!!! One would never guess they were last minute, they’re just adorable. I would postpone my diet for these too. Glad you got your blog back, girl.

  9. I would also have started the challenge the next day – or even forgotten about it and demanded these every evening for a month! They look absolutely decadently delicious – and I love the idea of savoury with sweet.

  10. Pingback: Meatballs with Savory Blueberry and Pear Compote – Fine Food Recipes
  11. Very creative! The meatballs must be terrific with the addition of prosciutto, such an incredible combination with the savory blueberry and pear compote, and I just love that it is served in the pastry shell, nice!

  12. 5 stars
    I’m blown away by this. It’s an amusing and attractive bite…yet as I read the recipe, I realized it was also complex (the proscuitto was unexpected) in flavors and the wine sauce and the compote elevated it far beyond Swedish Meatballs + Lingonberries! I love the idea of serving it as an appetizer.

    BTW, if you’re looking for the 10 lbs. you lost since you started blogging, they’re in FL. I found them! 🙁

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