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Fruit Compote - Winter Recipe

This is traditional made with dried fruits, either one (such as apricots) or in this case a mixture.

It's worth paying extra, for the best fruit, as they recover their natural shape almost perfectly and have a better flavour. Definitely don't use prunes that say they need no soaking - the chemicals almost shine off them, and in our experience they never re-hydrate satisfactorily. The dish should be served at room temperature - it's ideal for breakfast as a stand alone item, or as an accompaniment to ice cream, or semolina or rice puddings.

In France, the dish was traditionally made with 12 fruit varieties - one for each apostle!

The finished dish will keep well in the fridge.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at - top-class dishes from beginners upwards

Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Suitable for Vegans


A selection from the following – all if possible!
12 large Prunes, with their stones in
12 dried Apricots
2 oz/60gr dried Cherries
2 oz/60gr dried Pears
2 oz/60gr dried Peaches
2 oz/60gr dried Apples
1 oz/30ml dried Cranberries
4 oz/120gr seedless Grapes
8 Cloves
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 slithers of Lemon Zest
1½ pints/900ml Water
8 oz/250gr Caster Sugar
the juice of 1 Lemon


1. Soak in prunes and apricots, separately overnight.

2. Drain them and discard the liquid.

3. Make a light 'spicy' syrup with the water sugar, cloves, cinnamon and lemon zest. Do this buy slowly bringing the mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally, so the sugar melts rather than sticks to the bottom.

4. Put the prunes in this mixture and return to the heat.

5. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, then add the apricots and cook for a further 10 minutes.

6. Remove from the heat, then add all the other dried fruit you're using.

7. Allow the mixture to cool, then add the seedless grapes, if using. Add the lemon juice and careful stir in.

Serve, or refrigerate.

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