Fruit compote — or stewed fruit — is an old-fashioned thing that seems just right for right now.
DRIED FRUIT COMPOTE
Start to finish: 31/2 hours (Active time: 20 minutes)
1 cup filtered water
1 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Zest of a clementine or half an orange
1 generous cup or an 8-ounce bag of dried plums (prunes)
1 generous cup dried whole apricots
1/2 generous cup dried cherries
1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger, optional
1 tablespoon cognac or Grand Marnier, optional but a very good addition
Bring water, apple cider, vanilla, salt, nutmeg to a boil in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart pot.
Add zest and dried fruit and stir. Bring back to a boil. Place the lid on the pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until fruit is plump. Add the ginger and cognac if using. Stir and turn off the heat. Let sit for 2-3 hours or until it has cooled to room temperature.
Place fruit and some of the liquid in a mason jar for storing and gift giving. Store in the refrigerator for about 1 month.
Warm slightly before serving over oatmeal, pound cake, ice cream, rice pudding, etc.
Nutrition information per serving: 121 calories; 1 calories from fat; 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 36 mg sodium; 30 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 20 g sugar; 1 g protein.
Elizabeth Karmel is a barbecue and Southern foods expert. She is the chef and pit master at online retailer CarolinaCueToGo.com and the author of three books, including “Taming the Flame.”