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Polish dried fruit compote is a dessert of stewed fruit eaten year-round in Poland, but it is especially popular in the fall and winter. It uses summer's bounty that has been preserved by drying, and then reconstituted with sugar, water and spices. It is a traditional Christmas Eve (wigilia) dessert and originally was made with 12 dried fruits to represent the 12 apostles. When made thicker, it's wonderful served on toast or ice cream. It's also a great edible gift, but it must be refrigerated. It keeps for about 1 week. Cooking time approximate. Courtesy of Barbara Rolek.
- Bring fruit, water, cloves, cinnamon, zest, if using, and sugar to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until fruit is tender and syrup has thickened slightly.
- Add more water if you like a looser consistency or reduce by further simmering for a thicker compote.
- Cool quickly and transfer to containers.
- Refrigerate for up to 1 week.
This tastes exactly like spiced apple cider. We used dried apricots and plums. If I made this again, I would only use 1/3 of the amount of dried fruit. I re-stewed the dried fruits and spices along with additional water and sugar four more times and continued to get a nice, strong drink. We made this for a Russian-themed meal.