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Australian dried fruit is among the best in the world. Whether you like apples, peaches, apricots, pears, prunes, Australia has them all. And this Spiced Dried Fruit with Rum is a perfect recipe to showcase our beautiful fruit produced by our proud farmers.

Two bowls of Spiced Dried Fruit with Rum and open jar


Having jars of great preserves in the pantry are a cooks pride and joy. I like to have jars of strawberry jam, passionfruit curd and preserved seasonal vegetables and fruits in the pantry at my disposal. This recipe for Spice Dried Fruit in Rum takes quality dried fruit and rehydrates  it with spices, sugar and rum. Imagine having this in your pantry for an impromptu dessert. Be sure to sterilize jars if you want to keep this Spiced Dried Fruit with Rum for more than a week.

Mixed dried fruit spilling out of packet

About Spiced Dried Fruit with Rum

This beautiful recipe is adapted from an Italian recipe Frutta Cotta by Gennaro Contaldo. While Gennaro likes to add grated zest, I prefer to thinly peel the zest (avoiding the bitter white pith) so you get all the flavour and bits of rind. In Australia, dried fruit is sold individually or in a packet of mixed fruit containing apples, prunes, pears, apricots and peaches which is a great alternative. Use your preferred choice of fruit. All in all, this is an easy to make recipe. Just prepare the spiced syrup then simmer the dried fruits for just 5 minutes. Bottle and store for at least one day. Then serve it with a spoonful of cream or mascarpone. Maybe top a custard tart with this colourful array of fruits.

Two oranges, two limes, one cinnamon stick, rosemary, cloves and peppercorns

Sorry, this one is Adults only

Ok, so there is a good slug of dark rum in this recipe. I really like to use a dark Jamaican rum for deep delicious flavour. Keep this one as a special treat for the adults.


I wonder if my parents ever thought about what they were giving me and my sister? We were chatting the other day and reminiscing about the remedies our mum and dad had for our childhood ills. As babies and toddlers we were given the brandy dipped cork to suck on to help us sleep. If we were looking pale, the Ferro-China was brought out. Yes, it’s alcoholic but wonderfully promoted as a “blood tonic” by it’s producers. My mother totally believed it! Worse still if we had nausea or vomitting, out came a small glass of Fernet Branca (yes, also alcoholic, too) which was promoted for it health benefits and a remedy for “overeating, flatulence, hangovers, gas pains, (and) lifting yourself off the floor when you’ve mixed oysters and bananas”. Not that I have ever mixed oysters and bananas! Did anyone else’s parents have odd remedies like this?

Jar of Spiced dried fruit with rum

Obviously, this Spiced Dried Fruit with Rum will be something special to be brought out when the children are having ice cream with chocolate topping and the adults want an equally delicious topping. Keep a couple of jars in your pantry for times like these.


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Spiced Dried Fruit with Rum (Frutta Cotta)

Adapted from Gennaro Contaldo's recipe for Frutta Cotta.  Dried fruit rehydrated in the best possible way in spices, sugar and rum. Serve with icecream, mascarpone, cream or custard.

Servings: 1 litre
  • 1 orange
  • 2 limes
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 fresh bayleaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 500 g 1lb 2oz sugar
  • 500 ml 17fl oz water
  • 1 kg 2 1/4lb mixed dried fruit
  • 200 ml (7fl oz0 dark rum
  1. Thinly peel the rind of the oranges and limes. 
  2. Squeeze the juice of the citrus fruits into a large saucepan and add rosemary, bayleaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, black peppercorns, vanilla bean, sugar and water. 
  3. Place pan over medium heat, bring to the boil and stir occasionally to dissolve sugar.
  4. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add fruit and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from heat. Add rum.
  7. Stir well then spoon fruit and spices into sterilized jar. Top with liquid. Seal tightly with lid.
  8. Allow to stand at least one day before serving.
  9. Warm slightly when serving.
Recipe Notes
  • To Sterilize jars: Preheat oven to 130C/ 275F Wash in hot soapy water and rinse well. Place the jar upturned on a tray in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Fill while hot.
  • If some of the fruit seems extra dry put it in first followed by the softer fruit. Don't overcook because the fruit will continue to cook as it cools in the hot liquid.

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