Delicious Dried Fruit Compote Recipes

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

Dried fruit compote is a natural remedy for constipation, as well as a delicious, sweet, syrupy, comfort food! For anyone returning home from a hospital stay which often slows down the digestive tract, a fruit compote can gently help to get their digestive system functioning again. Compotes are also a great way of satisfying your sweet tooth with something nutritious. They are easy, quick to make, heart-healthy, fiber-rich, naturally sweet, versatile, and contain no saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, or gluten. People of all ages, including children, love fruit compotes!

Ways to enjoy a dried fruit compote:

  • By itself for breakfast, as a snack, or dessert
  • As a topping for cereal or oatmeal
  • Topped with vanilla yogurt
  • As a topping over fresh fruit such as pears or apples for a healthy dessert
  • As a spread for toast
  • Served cold with plain yogurt, or warm with ice cream, and nuts on top
  • With thick coconut milk and chopped nuts on top

Cooked compote may be stored in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and will improve in flavor. One to two-tablespoon servings may be frozen in sectioned ice cube trays and thawed as needed. Make the following recipes with any dried fruit available. Don’t worry about being exact with the amounts listed. The compotes will be delicious and nourishing with any combination of dried fruits:

A. Prunes Stewed in Water:

  1. Place 2 cups of pitted prunes in a medium pot.
  2. Add 2 ½ cups of cold water and heat the prunes and water on a medium-high flame.
  3. Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat to a simmer for about 25 minutes.
  4. When prunes have become soft and tender, remove pot from heat and allow stewed prunes to cool.

B. Stewed Prunes with Lemon and Cinnamon (8 servings):

  1. Cover 1 lb. pitted prunes with cold water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently about 20 minutes.
  3. If desired, add 1/4 cup sugar (optional).
  4. Cook 10 minutes longer, stirring to dissolve sugar, if added. During this time, add 1/2 lemon, sliced, and 1 cinnamon stick.
  5. Remove pan from heat and allow prunes to cool.
  6. Serve warm or chilled.

C. Stewed Prunes with Lemon Juice:

  1. Place 1 cup of pitted prunes in a saucepan and pour 1½ cups of water into it.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon or more of lemon juice and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Allow to cool and garnish with lemon slices.

D. Prunes Stewed in Orange Sauce (20 minutes to prepare/cook):

  • 1 cup orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (chopped almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, etc., may be substituted)
  • 24 pitted prunes
  1. Combine orange and lemon juices, lemon zest, honey, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer on high heat and add prunes.
  2. Turn the heat as low as possible and cover. Simmer gently for only about 10 minutes. Avoid letting prunes get soggy.
  3. Add chopped walnuts and cook for another few minutes.
  4. Remove prunes with a slotted spoon and turn the heat to medium-high; reduce the liquid to about half. Pour the syrup over the prunes and chill or serve warm.
E. Apricot Compote (15 minutes to prepare/cook 2 cups):
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup dried apricots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the lemon juice, orange juice and honey to a boil.
  2. Add apricots and raisins.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer just until they become tender and a little syrupy, about 10 minutes. Do not overcook, or they will become soggy and dissolve. Keep fruit well-defined.
  4. Remove apricots and raisins with a slotted spoon and reduce sauce for about 2 minutes to thicken.
  5. Remove from heat and add apricots, raisins, and walnuts back to sauce. Serve warm or chilled.

F. American Heart Association (AHA) Mixed Dried Fruit Compote:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup chopped dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes, or peaches, or a combination, with 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins.
  2. Add water to cover. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  3. Drain and let cool slightly.

(Calories 90; protein 2 g; carbohydrates 20 g; cholesterol 0 mg; total fat 1 g; saturated fat 0 g; polyunsaturated fat 0 g; monounsaturated fat 0 g; fiber 2 g; sodium 76 mg)

G. Sweet Dried Fruit Medley Compote (Yield: 4 cups)

Total time: 1 hr 55 min (Prep: 10 min; Soak: 1 hr; Cook: 45 min)

  • 4 cups water, divided into 2 containers
  • 8 ounces dried fruit (dried apples, apricots, dates, figs, pears, prunes, raisins)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 4 ounces sugar, approximately 1/2 cup (optional)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  1. Combine 2 cups of water with dried fruit in a large bowl. Let soak for 1 hour.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 2 cups of water, orange juice, sugar, and lemon zest over medium-high heat. Add fruit and soaking liquid to pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and add cinnamon and clove.
  3. Simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit has softened and mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Serve warm or cold.

Note: If using store bought dried fruit, chop the pieces into 1/2-inch chunks and simmer the mixture an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

H. Dried Fruit Medley Compote with Bran
  • 1/2 cup dried prunes
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, raisins, pitted dates, cherries, apples, pears, peaches, or mango
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced with rind on for flavor
  • 1/2 orange, sliced with rind on for flavor
  • 1/4 cup bran
  • 1 cinnamon stick (remove after cooking)
  • Enough water to cover all the fruit, plus another inch of water (or use 1/2 water and 1/2 orange juice, or all orange juice for extra sweetness).
  1. Combine dried fruits and cinnamon stick in a saucepan large enough to allow space for expansion of fruits.
  2. Cover with water or juice, plus another inch of water or juice, since the dried fruit will absorb a lot of liquid.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the fruit is soft and the liquid has become a sweet syrup.
  4. Refrigerate once compote has cooled.
While eating prunes or a stewed fruit compote helps to alleviate constipation, eating too much too quickly may cause side effects, such as stomach cramping, bloating, gas, and possibly diarrhea. Always introduce prunes, fruit compotes, and other sources of fiber slowly to your diet and in small amounts to avoid any discomfort, and drink plenty of water.


This information is not intended to replace the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Talk with your doctor if you continue to have constipation or have questions about individual health concerns and specific treatment options.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: