My grandmother used to make a fruit compote or “stewed fruit” as she called it, that she served with dinner. She made everything with a sprinkling of love, so I happily scarfed down anything she offered. I miss her, but I don’t miss that compote. The fruit was cooked so long that it was impossible to distinguish apricots from prunes.
This is not my grandmother’s compote. This is compote Moroccan style. As you will see from this menu, dried apricots and prunes are used in Moroccan food in many different ways, from meat tagines to salads, to desserts.
This is one of the recipes that is inspired by Moroccan flavors. The original recipe called for orange blossom water or rose water as part of the macerating liquid. I confess I bought them both but I just didn’t like the flavors. It must be an acquired taste, given how frequently they appear in recipes; and maybe after my next trip to Morocco, my palate will change. So I decided to use Grand Marnier (or orange based liqueur) instead.
It may seem odd to soak the fruit and nuts for 48 hours but the result is glorious. My tasters polished off huge amounts with bowl of luscious Greek yoghurt. I call it dessert, they called it breakfast. You decide.
DRIED FRUIT COMPOTE WITH GRAND MARNIER
EVENT: Moroccan Feast
SERVES: 10-12 People
2 cups dried apricots, cut in half *
2 cups dried pitted prunes, cut in half *
1 ½ cups sultanas / golden raisins
4 tablespoons pine nuts *
1 cup blanched almonds
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
Lemon zest strips
1. Place prunes and apricots and sultanas in bowl and add just enough water to cover.
2. Add the sugars and stir until just dissolved.
3. Add crystallized ginger, lemon strips, Grand Marnier, almonds and pine nuts.
4. Cover the bowl and place in refrigerator, allowing it to soak for 48 hours.
5. Dried fruit will plump and liquid will be like a light syrup.
* A NOTE: I buy the dried apricots and prunes, as well as pine nuts, at Costco.