Embrace the delightful flavors of tradition with my cherished Dried Fruit Compote recipe. Bursting with sweetness and warmth, this time-honored treat is perfect for celebrating special occasions, particularly the joyous occasion of the New Year. Carefully crafted with love, my compote brings together an array of luscious ingredients: succulent dried apricots, tender dried plums, golden white raisins, and a hint of apple sweetness, all elegantly enhanced with the aromatic touch of cinnamon. As you savor each spoonful, the richness of the fruit melds harmoniously with the comforting embrace of the cinnamon-spiced broth.
Rosh Hashanah will be here before we know it, which is why I’m sharing a traditional Jewish dessert recipe that is a lighter option after having a heavy, sweet holiday meal.
What is Fruit Compote?
If you have never heard the word Compote (or Kompot), all you need to know is that it is a fruit soup. It originates in Eastern European countries and therefore, it is part of the Ashkenazi kitchen. Each family usually has their own version of it. The word Compote means “mixture" in French and as such, it is a mixture of sweet fruits cooked in water and spices.
This sweet drink is served as a dessert. In my family during high holidays, we usually have Compote. It fits Passover since its gluten-free and on Rosh Hashanah (or Sukkot), it’s a lighter sweet dish to have after the festive sweet heavy dinner.
How to make Compote?
To make the dried fruit compote, you will need an apple, cinnamon stick, dried fruits, sugar, and water. In general, any fruit fresh or dried can work for this dish and the sweetness levels depend on you. If you don’t want it very sweet, you can omit the sugar completely or add less of it. The only spice I use is cinnamon because this is the traditional recipe my family has used for years. In other recipes that I saw online, they added vanilla extract or paste lemon/orange peel, you can use whatever your family likes. I used a cinnamon stick, but you can use cinnamon powder as well.
The Compote can be served warm or cold, we usually have it cold. It is more refreshing this way and during Rosh Hashanah, while it is still hot because it’s the end of summer, you want something refreshing.
The process of making the compote is pretty simple - just put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 30-40 minutes and that's it - you can have a sip ☺
As a kid, I used to like only the water and leave the cooked fruits but now I learned to enjoy the soft sweet fruits too. I read that some families blend it to a unified batter, maybe I will give it a try too if I have any leftovers!
Choose high-quality dried fruits for the best results. Opt for unsulfured dried apricots and plums, which tend to have a richer flavor and natural sweetness.
Soaking the Fruits
To ensure the fruits become plump and tender, consider soaking them in warm water for about 30 minutes before adding them to the pot. This step will help to rehydrate the dried fruits, resulting in a softer texture in the compote.
The sweetness of the compote can be adjusted to your preference. If you prefer a sweeter compote, you can increase the amount of sugar. Alternatively, for a less sweet option, reduce the sugar slightly or add a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
While the recipe calls for cinnamon, feel free to experiment with other spices like cloves, allspice, or cardamom to add a unique twist to the flavor profile.
The simmering time can vary depending on the desired texture of the fruits. If you prefer the fruits to be softer and more infused with flavors, extend the simmering time slightly.
The compote can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Make sure to keep the fruits immersed in the liquid to maintain their juiciness.
If you wish to serve the compote warm, gently reheat it on the stovetop over low heat. Be cautious not to overheat it, as this may cause the fruits to become mushy.
While the recipe specifically calls for dried fruits, you can certainly experiment with using fresh fruits. However, keep in mind that the cooking time and liquid requirements may differ, and the resulting flavor and texture might be distinct from the traditional compote.
Yes, the compote can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. In fact, allowing the flavors to meld overnight can enhance the overall taste.
Traditionally, the compote is served cold, making it a refreshing treat during celebrations and warm weather. However, if you prefer a warm compote, you can gently reheat it on the stovetop before serving.
While it's possible to freeze the compote, the texture of the fruits may change after thawing, becoming softer. If you plan to freeze it, consider doing so without the fruits and add fresh ones when you reheat it.
Yes, you can easily scale the recipe up or down depending on the number of servings you need. Just maintain the ratios of the ingredients for consistent results.
Absolutely! If you want to reduce the use of refined sugar, you can use alternative sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar. Adjust the amount to taste and keep in mind that the sweetness levels may vary.
The compote is generally vegetarian and vegan-friendly. However, if you have specific dietary restrictions or allergies, be sure to check the ingredients' suitability.
Other Rosh Hashanah recipes to try:
For all my Rosh Hashanah recipes check out my Rosh Hashanah recipe index.
Make this dried fruit compote today!
Whether enjoyed as a toast to the New Year or a heartwarming treat during gatherings with family and friends, my Dried Fruit Compote promises to captivate your taste buds and create lasting memories. So, let the tradition continue, and may your celebrations be blessed with joy, abundance, and the sweetness of this beloved compote. L'Chaim and Shanah Tova!
Dried Fruit Compote (Fruit Soup)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 apple cored, peeled, and cut to cubes
- Handful dried apricot
- Handful dried plums
- ½ cup white raisins
- 1 stick of cinnamon (or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder)
- 12 cups boiling water
- In a pot, place all ingredients.
- Bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 30-40 minutes until all fruits are puffed.
- Ladle the drink with the fruits to a pitcher.
- Keep in the fridge until serving.
- Have a bowl of compote and Happy New Year!