My mom’s fresh fruit compote is a delightful dessert made by simmering fresh fruits in sweet syrup. It can be enjoyed chilled as a refreshing summer treat or served warm as a comforting indulgence in cold weather.

Fruit compote originated in medieval Europe, and because it uses simple ingredients and is dairy-free, it became very popular in Jewish households and served on many Jewish holidays. Making this easy fruit compote is one of my mom’s favorite ways to use over ripened summer fruits, and the best way I like to describe it is “Fruit Soup”. The fruits were left in big chunks (and sometimes whole), so the syrup was sweet, clear, and slightly thick. It was like eating a sweet dessert and then drinking it. I have a clear memory of sipping this sweet and fruity treat as I looked at the peaks of the Galilee mountains through the windows of my home, thinking how connected I am to nature…

There are many compote recipes, and I am sharing my favorite in this post. And if you want more Jewish-style recipes, check out this Jewish Apple Cake, these Mandel Bread cookies, and this Israeli Cheese Cake (serving it with this recipe is the perfect way to enjoy both recipes).

Ingredients and Variations

  • Fresh stone fruit: Peaches, plums, and nectarines are firm enough to handle the warm bath. Pears, apples, and fresh orange juice are also great, depending on the time of year.
  • Dried apricots and prunes. Add half a cup of golden raisins if you like.
  • Sugar. Before adding the sugar, taste the fruit to determine its sweetness. Then, adjust the sweetness based on your preference and the natural sweetness of the fruit used.
  • Cinnamon stick. 
  • My mom’s secret ingredient is instant peach Jell-O. It sweetens and thickens the compote, so we don’t need to add more sugar or extend the cooking time. You can replace the Jell-O with corn starch, but remember that the compote might be slightly opaque. 

Flavoring options

There are many ways to add flavor to this recipe. Customize your recipe with different fruits and flavor options:

  • You can replace the sugar with brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup depending on the fruits you are using (for example, apples and honey, pears or peaches with maple syrup).
  • Add a rind of orange to the pot for a citrus note.
  • Add 2-3 stars of anise for a warm spice flavor.
  • Red wine. Replace 1/2-1 cup of the water with red wine.
  • Vanilla bean. Add 1-2 empty vanilla pods into the pot.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Wash, peel, and cut the fresh fruits into 2-inch chunks. Place the pieces of fruit with the dried fruits, sugar, and cinnamon in a large pot and cover them with the water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and cook for 20-25 minutes with the lid covering half of the pot.
  3. Remove from the heat, and measure one cup of the juice water. Place the instant jelly in a medium bowl, pour the juice and water over it, and stir to mix.
  4. Pour the jello water back into the pot, stir to mix, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Transfer the compote to a large bowl and refrigerate.
steps to make fresh fruit compote.

Tips and Serving Suggestions

  • Don’t worry about peeling and slicing if the fruits are very ripe. Wash them and add them whole. The compote will have a rustic look but be super sweet and delicious (the skin has all the flavor). When eating it, pay attention to the pits.
  • Using one type of fruit, such as peaches, to make peach compote and strawberries to make the strawberry compote is a great option when you have too much of one fruit or not enough variety.
  • I never tried adding fresh berries like fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and other fresh summer berries. I don’t think they will keep their structure during the cooking time, but you can stain them and use a potato masher, or a food processor to mash them and enjoy them as fruit puree.
  • Serving Ideas:
    • Breakfast: Spoon over oatmeal, yogurt, french toast, pancakes, or chia seeds pudding.
    • Dessert: Pour some of the syrup into a wide bowl, scoop some vanilla ice cream, and top it with the fruits. For a fruity dessert, fill individual dessert cups with the fruit and some syrup and top with whipped cream and chopped nuts.
    • Toppings: Sweet, soft fruit is the perfect topping for pound cakes and this angel food cake. 

Storage

Store your compote in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to a week.

peach dessert topped with cream and nuts.

 Don’t forget to tag @OneSarcasticBaker on Instagram whenever you bake this recipe. I would love to see your creations!

Compote Recipe

Fresh fruit cooked in sweet syrup.

Course Dessert
Cuisine European
Keyword compote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Dikla

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Peaches and plums peeled, pit removed, and sliced into 2-inch chunks. (650g)
  • 1 Cup Dried apricots (100g)
  • 2/3 Cup Dried prunes (80g)
  • 12 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar (100g)
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1 pkg Instant peach Jell-o (85g)

Instructions

  1. Place the fresh fruits, dried fruits, cinnamon stick, and sugar in a large pot.

  2. Pour the water over the fruits and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and cook for an additional 20 minutes with the lid half on.

  4. Remove from the heat and measure 1 cup of the water.

  5. Place the instant Jell-O in a medium bowl, then pour the hot water over the powder. Stir to mix.

  6. Pour the Jell-O water into the pot, stir to mix, and allow to cool to room temperature.

  7. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a lid, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil, and refrigerate.

Recipe Notes

  • Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Use other varieties of fruits depending on the season, like pears and apples.
  • Fresh berries might not keep their structure during cooking, but you can stain them, mash them with a potato masher or a food processor, and enjoy them as fruit puree.
  • Taste the fruit to check its level of sweetness and then determine if the sugar is needed.
  • Brown sugar, honey, and maple can replace the sugar.

 

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