This Dried Fruit Compote is a wonderful combination of sweet dried fruit, juicy clementine oranges and a little hint of orange liqueur. It makes a great dinner party dessert as it is a very easy recipe to make and you can make it ahead of time.
Why should I make Dried Fruit Compote with Clementines?
I make this recipe in autumn and winter and often serve it around Christmas time. I was originally inspired by Delia Smith’s Christmas Fruit Compote recipe and I like to think I have improved on the original with the changes that I’ve made.
The compote is a bit like a deconstructed Christmas pudding but it’s not as heavy and a lot less work! It is also suitable for vegetarians, vegans and anyone who is dairy or gluten intolerant.
What do I need to make Dried Fruit Compote?
You will need:
- Medjool dates
- Dried apricots
- Dried cranberries
- Orange Liqueur
- Pistaschio Nuts
What are Medjool Dates?
Medjool Dates are fresh dates that are grown in warm climates such as the Middle East and southern states of the USA. There are many different varieties of dates Medjool dates are soft with a chewy almost caramel taste.
Can I use other kinds of dates?
You can use other kinds of dates but it will change the flavour and texture of the compote. Other fresh dates are more delicate and may disintegrate during the cooking of the fruit. Dried dates are much firmer and have a concentrated sweet taste that will make the compote sweeter too.
What kind of dried apricots should I use in the Dried Fruit Compote?
Use ready-to-eat semi-rehydrated apricots. This kind of apricot is treated with sulphur so if you prefer you can use unsulphured dried apricots.
What are dried cranberries?
Dried Cranberries are similar to raisins and sultanas which are dried grapes. Dried cranberries can be used in baking and desserts and they have that little edge of sharpness that is characteristic of fresh cranberries. The dried cranberries add both colour and that tang of acidity.
Can I use other dried fruits?
Yes, you can use most dried fruits in the compote. Try the following:
- Dried figs,
- Dried apples
- Dried pears
- Dried pineapple
I recommend that you keep to a combination of three dried fruits and think carefully about balancing the stronger dried fruits with those with lighter flavours.
Can I use a different kind of orange?
I use clementines because they are small and usually quite sweet. There are many types of orange and you can use most of them in this recipe. Any small oranges like satsumas, tangerines and clementines are ideal.
If you are using a larger orange then use half of one orange to slice and then cut each slice in half. Squeeze the juice from the other half of the orange and add the juice from one additional orange.
I don’t have any orange liqueur, what can use as a substitute?
I use orange liqueur in the recipe but I have also made it with Amaretto, an almond liqueur. You can also use spirits such as brandy and rum or a fortified wine like port or sherry. I recommend you don’t use anything that has too strong a flavour that may overpower the dried fruit.
I don’t want to use alcohol, can I use something else in the compote?
If you don’t want to use alcohol then you can either add more clementine juice. However, I use cold strong black tea because the tannin in the tea works really well with dried fruit and isn’t as acidic as the juice.
What are pistachios?
Pistachios are actually the seed inside the fruit or drupe of the pistachio tree. Pistachios are small elongated green seeds that you can buy with or without shells. Shelling pistachios is really not my favourite activity so I generally buy them already shelled.
Pistachios have a mild and pleasant nut-like taste but most importantly they are a beautiful green colour that really lifts the colour of a dessert like this
Can I use another kind of nut?
If you can’t find any pistachios then I suggest that you use blanched chopped almonds. I am suggesting almonds because their creamy white colour will contrast with the rich colours of the dried fruit compote. However, If you prefer you can use pecans or hazelnuts too. You will get the texture but they will blend in with the compote.
How do I store the Dried Fruit Compote?
Store the finished compote in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The flavours will actually improve as they sit together bathing in the liqueur and clementine juice.
Can I freeze the Dried Fruit Compote with Clementines?
You can freeze the dried fruit compote. Let it cool and spoon into a freezer-proof container, seal and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost the compote overnight in the fridge and serve at room temperature.
Dried Fruit Compote with Clementines contains no meat products and is suitable for both vegetarian and vegan diets.
Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free
This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. I do suggest serving the compote with yogurt, but a good coconut or another dairy-free yogurt would be a fabulous alternative.
How do I serve Dried Fruit Compote with Clementines?
Take the Dried Fruit Compote out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you want to serve it. This will allow the compote to come to room temperature and you will be able to enjoy all the different delicious flavours.
I like to serve the fruit compote with thick Greek Yogurt, but you can use creme fraiche, single cream or a diary alternative. I also serve this dried fruit compote over vanilla ice cream. Dried Fruit Compote with Clementines is also heavenly served warm with Easy Vanilla Custard Sauce.
Make the compote without alcohol and you can keep a tub in the fridge to add to your breakfast or serve as a mid-week sweet treat.
More Desserts for Christmas and the Holidays
Christmas Mini Mince Pies are small buttery pastry pies filled with a delicious mixture of dried fruit, and warming spices. They are bite-sized versions of the traditional British mince pies that are such a feature of Christmas holiday feasts.
Heavenly Meringues are like sweet little clouds filled with lightly whipped cream. As you bite into the meringue the crisp shell gives way to the billowy soft cream and just melts in your mouth.
Slow Cooker Scottish Cloutie Dumpling is an updated recipe for a delicious traditional Scottish steamed ‘pudding’ dessert. It tastes exactly as it should, retaining all the expected flavours but I make it in my slow cooker for maximum convenience.
- Individual Trifles with Sherry, Figs & Vanilla – Lost in Food
- Spiced Prune & Chocolate Pots – Tin & Thyme
- Mulled Wine Pears – Sew White
Dried Fruit Compote with Clementines
- Sharp knife
- chopping board
- weighing scales
- Medium saucepan
- measuring jug
- Lemon squeezer
- 100 g dried apricots
- 100 g Medjool dates
- 100 g dried cranberries
- 3 clementines
- 250 ml water
- 100 ml orange liqueur
- 50 g pistachio nuts shelled and chopped
- 3 clementinesScrub one of the clementines thoroughly to remove any wax. Take one of the clementines and slice it very thinly, then cut the slices in half.
- Slice the washed clementine very thinly then cut the slice in half.
- 100 g Medjool dates, 100 g dried cranberries, 100 g dried apricotsCut the dried apricots and dates into pieces about 1 cm x 1 cm
- 250 ml waterPut the sliced clementine, dried apricots, dates and cranberries into a pan with the water and bring up to a simmer.
- Put the lid on the pan and simmer the dried fruit with the water for 15 minutes.
- 3 clementinesSqueeze the clementines and collect the juice.
- 100 ml orange liqueurWhen the fruit is cooked, take the pan off the heat add the clementine juice and the orange liqueur.
- Leave to cool then put the compote into a lidded container and place in the fridge overnight.
- 50 g pistachio nutsServe with Greek yogurt and top with chopped pistachio nuts.
This recipe was first published in December 2012