A compote is typically fruit that is preserved or cooked in a syrup, typically one made with sugar. Compotes are a great way to use fruit and to have a delicious topping for a dessert. However, compote can be used to enhance breakfast items like Greek yogurt, oatmeal, or farina. Compote is a great way to add extra fiber and nutrients to a morning meal!
While most people use fresh fruit to make compote, it can also be made by using any dried fruit you may have. It’s a great way to clean out the pantry and use up random containers or bags of dried fruit. Any dried fruit will work, including combinations of dried figs, apricots, cherries, raisins, prunes, dates, pears, or cranberries. Instead of sugar, honey provides a natural sweetness and the amount of sweetness can be easily adjusted by adding more or using less honey (I always recommend using natural, local honey like the honey from the Tanis Apiary in Pompton Plains, New Jersey). The spices in the compote can also be adjusted to reflect the seasons: use warmer spices like cinnamon and cloves for the colder months or lighter spices like vanilla bean, orange zest or star anise for cooler flavors. Or, use a combination of all the spices for a unique taste.
Think the dried fruit you have on hand is too dry? Simply soak the fruit in warm water for an hour then discard the liquid. This recipe can also be made in a crock pot on low setting for about 4 hours instead of simmering on the stove.
Dried Fruit Compote
- 1 ½ pounds of dried fruit (any fruit or a combination of dried apricots, prunes, figs, cranberries or raisins)
- Zest of 1 orange
- Juice from 2 large oranges
- 2 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves (optional)
- 1 star anise (optional)
- 4 tablespoons local, natural honey
- Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir to combine (Smaller ingredients like the clove or star anise can be wrapped in cheesecloth to avoid them breaking down during cooking)
- Simmer over low to medium heat for one hour until the fruit softens and the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
- Cool slightly before using or store in a jar or container in the refrigerator for one week.
Featured photo by Lumitar