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Dried Fruit Compote

Are you looking for a simple dessert that tastes great? This Dried Fruit Compote ticks all the boxes!
With a rich, fruity flavor, this compote can be served warm or cold, on its own, or paired with other desserts like chocolate cake, crema pasticcera, or mascarpone cream plus, it’s completely customizable.

Dried Fruit Compote in a coupe glass.
Dried fruit has never looked so good!

This recipe for Dried Fruit Compote takes quality dried fruit and rehydrates it with orange juice, honey, and cinnamon. Imagine having a large jar of this compote in your fridge for an impromptu dessert. When you’ve finished the fruit compote, these jars are filled with cookies like Brutti ma Buoni or Coconut Pecan Cookies.

While this recipe is loosely based on Gennaro Contaldo frutta cotta, many cultures other than Italian have a tradition of cooked fruit. Dried fruits have a longer shelf life than fresh fruit, making them convenient to store and great to have on hand year-round. This compote is a practical option for a quick and easy dessert that can be made in advance.

What is fruit compote made of?

Fruit compote is a mixture of fresh, frozen, or dried fruit cooked often with a sweetener and other flavorings. In fact, the word “compote” translates to “mixture” in French. The fruit may break down into a chunky fruit sauce or remain in recognizable pieces as is in this recipe.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Guilt-free – almost! Dried fruit is nutrient-dense, containing vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So you can enjoy a sweet treat while being confident that you’re adding the goodness of fruit to your diet
  • Easy – If you can boil water, you can make this recipe. It’s that easy!
  • Fruity and flavorful – when rehydrated in a compote, these fruits release sweetness and flavor and become juicy and soft, making a delicious dessert, breakfast, or snack.
  • Customizable – this recipe is super simple to adapt to suit your taste. Change the variety of dried fruits, and add different spices or nuts you have on hand or enjoy.

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Ingredients

Ingredients for this recipe viewed from above.
  • Dried fruit – use a variety of dried fruit that you enjoy. Dried figs, dried apricots, pitted prunes (dried plums), and cranberries are a good combination. Try dried apples, peaches, pears, or raisins. If the fruit is large, cut it into smaller pieces.
  • Orange – this recipe uses both the zest and orange juice. 
  • Honey – for a little extra sweetness. 
  • Cinnamon sticks – are easily available at most grocery stores and keep well. 

See recipe card for quantities.

Instructions

A variety of dried fruits and a bowl and dried figs on a wooden board.

Cut the hard stalk tip off the figs.

Liquid in a saucepan with a strip of orange peel and a cinnamon sticks.

Place the water, honey, orange juice, and strip of orange zest into a medium saucepan. Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes.

Adding dried fruit to liquid in a saucepan.

Remove the lid, increase the heat, and stir in the dried fruit.

Stewed dried fruit in a saucepan viewed from above.

Bring back to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Hint: stir gently with a rubber or silicone spatula if necessary, taking care not to break up the softened fruit.

Substitutions

  • Dried Fruit – use any combination or all of one type instead. 
  • Honey – instead of honey, use another sweetener of your choice or leave it out altogether.
  • Cinnamon Stick – use ground cinnamon instead of a whole stick. 

Variations

  • Spices – play with the spices in this recipe. Add cloves, cardamom, or even peppercorns. 
  • Deluxe – add a splash of rum or whiskey to the cooled compote for a grown-up version.
  • Fragrant – so many other flavors can be added to vary the taste of this stewed dried fruit recipe. Think of including a strip of lime or lemon zest or even herbs like fresh rosemary or bay leaves. 

See this simple blueberry compote recipe on my website!

Equipment

Other than basic kitchen equipment like a saucepan, spoons, and knives, you’ll need a screwtop glass jar, a mason jar, or another sealable container to store the compote. 

Storage

This compote keeps well in the fridge for at least 5 to 7 days. Store in a sealed container and use a clean spoon when serving.

This compote can also be frozen for up to 3 months. The fruit may break down a little more after being frozen.

Top tip

Overhead view of stewed dried fruit in a coupe glass.
  • If the dried fruit is large, cut it in half or smaller. 
  • Avoid stirring the simmering fruit, or it will break up as it softens. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to stir gently if necessary, and press the fruit down so it is submerged in the liquid.
  • The compote may need to cook longer than specified, depending on how dry the fruit is. If the fruit takes longer than 5 minutes to soften, add a little more water to prevent the compote from drying out. Remember that the dried fruit will continue to absorb the liquid as it cools, becoming softer and juicier.
  • Leave the orange zest and cinnamon stick in the compote after cooking so that the flavors continue to develop and increase.

FAQ

What is the difference between stewed fruit and fruit compote?

Stewed fruit and fruit compote are very similar, if not the same thing. When making a fruit compote, fruit, dried or fresh, is cooked (or stewed) in a liquid until softened. This is the same as stewed fruit. Somehow, though, fruit compote sounds a lot fancier than stewed fruit.

What can I do with old dried fruit?

Make this recipe with old dried fruit. This recipe will soften and plump the fruit and create a tasty dessert that everyone can enjoy.

How do you steep dried fruit?

To steep the dried fruit, simply place the fruit in a bowl and cover it with boiling water. Allow to steep for 10-15 minutes, then drain, discarding the water. The dried fruit will be soft, plump, and juicy. It’s not the same as dried fruit compote, but it makes a delicious, easy-to-eat snack.

Serving Suggestions

Close up of cooked dried fruit in a coupe glass.

Dried Fruit Compote can be served warm or cold on its own or as a topping for many desserts. Spoon over pancakes, lemon cake, or ice cream. Just because this is a simple dessert, it doesn’t need to be boring. Find some pretty glasses, like I have, and pile in the glistening fruit.

With all the flavors of winter, this stewed dried fruit is warming and comforting. But if you’re looking for a summer version, be sure to try my strawberry compote. It’s sings of sunshine with brightness and an amazing flavor!

Made this recipe?
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Dried Fruit Compote in a coupe glass.

Dried Fruit Compote Recipe

This recipe for Dried Fruit Compote or frutta cotta rehydrates dried fruit in the best possible way in orange, honey and cinnamon.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Review
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings:6 servings
Author: Marcellina

Ingredients

  • 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ cup honey
  • water as needed
  • 12 dried figs
  • 1 cup dried apricots (120 grams)
  • 1 cup prunes (150 grams)
  • ½ cup cranberries (60 grams)

Instructions

  • If the fruit is large such as the figs, cut in half. Set aside.
  • Thinly peel the zest of the orange into a long strip
  • Squeeze the juice of the orange. Measure the orange juice and bring it up to 1 1/2 cups with water. Place into a medium saucepan with orange zest, cinnamon stick cloves and honey. 
  • Place pan over medium heat, bring to the boil and stir occasionally.
  • Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add fruit and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring gently occasionally until the fruit is softened and plump. If the fruit is very dry, it may take 5 or 10 minutes longer. Add extra water as necessary. You might like more liquid in your compote or you may prefer a drier compote – that's up to you.
  • Transfer to a shallow bowl to cool.
  • Serve cold or warm slightly.

Notes

Tips for Success
  • 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.
Variations
  • lime
  • peppercorns
  • whole cloves
  • bayleaves
  • rosemary sprigs
  • vanilla bean
  • rum
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 1065IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

This updated and improved recipe was first published on February 9, 2018.

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