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Dried Fruit Compote

August 16, 2022 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

The traditional Jewish dessert you want to start making.

A compote is a dessert made from cooking dried and fresh fruits with fragrant spices. It originated in 17th century France. The word “compote” means mixture in French. It is naturally gluten and dairy free and incredibly simple to prepare, which is why it became popular among the Jewish community in Europe at that time. It became so popular that it is considered a traditional Jewish dessert and you might even remember your Bubbie serving this sweet and spicy mixture for dessert.

You can serve it cold or at room temperature, for a snack or for dessert. With ice cream or cake or on its own.

Did you know that the Jewish philosopher Maimonides recommended eating up until being 2/3rds full? He would never have recommended that you clean your plate like your grandmother did. Get more Jewish food thoughts here.

Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8 – 10


  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, quartered
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or other dried fruit
  • Dash kosher salt
  • 1 cup Granny Smith apples, diced 1/4-inch thick cubes
  • 1 cup pears, 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. In a 4-quart saucepan or pot bring the wines, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to a simmer. Stir slowly to dissolve the sugar in the liquid. Add the remaining ingredients except the lemon juice. When the liquid comes to a boil, adjust the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes to marry the flavors and soften the fruit.
  2. Turn off the heat then stir in the lemon juice. With a slotted spoon remove the fruit to a bowl. Bring the remaining syrup to a simmer and reduce until lightly thickened or when the bubbles formed on the top become small. Remove the syrup from the heat and when it is cool pour it over the fruit. The compote can be held in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  3. Serve fruit and juices atop pound cake. Or pour warmed or room temperature compote and juice over pareve ice cream.

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