It’s become my mission over the past year to hunt down healthy desserts. When we were young, ‘pudding’ was a rare occasion reserved for social outings, family get-togethers and birthdays. I came back from Oxford to discover that they had morphed into a nightly event. I’m not complaining though – I’ll greedily seize any opportunity to bake. However, eating self-saucing puddings, cheesecakes, brownies and other such indulgent items every night isn’t a healthy habit. And not one I planned on sustaining – some people (I’m looking at my sister here) could eat the moon and still remain beanpole thin, but we aren’t all blessed with those genes. I thus needed to come up with some sort of compromise. I needed to create desserts that incorporated the taste & sense of indulgence found in my sister’s favourites, yet didn’t require bucket loads of sugar and butter.
You’re probably expecting that at this point I will say how this dried fruit compote was a perfect solution to the dessert dilemma, blah, blah, blah. Well it wasn’t. At least not in the way it was intended to be. You see, I have made this compote multiple times now and my sister still refuses to try it. It’s her fault that she’s missing out big time. I now tend to make two desserts – brownies and the like for her and this for the rest of the household (it’s blindingly easy to make so creates no extra hassle). And you know what? When she’s sitting there with her slab of gooey-chocolatey-cakey substance, drowned in ice-cream and I have a scoop of this compote with vanilla yoghurt I don’t feel one pang of jealousy. Not one. Kid you not. The compote is sweet. It’s zingy. It’s colourful – more than can be said for a well, brown, brownie.
It’s also healthy enough to have for breakfast, whether with yoghurt, or on top of cereal or oatmeal. If you’re feeling the indulgent vibe, it works a treat warmed slightly and topped with a generous dollop of thick cream or good quality vanilla ice-cream. Though, in my book if you’re after a truly gluttonous dessert then you may as well go the full hog and smash that brownie. I’ll forgive you for passing on the compote just that once. It’s not going anywhere.
Compote: fancy name. Simple ingredients. Simple method. Fancy outcome.
Dried Fruit Compote
Makes about 1.5 cups
50g dried figs, quartered
70g dried apricots, halved
70g pitted prunes, quartered
180ml orange juice (about 2 navel oranges)
1 cinnamon stick
Place all ingredients in a small pot. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for ten minutes or until fruit is plump and most of the juice has been absorbed. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Serve warm or cool.
Store for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Source: A Taste Without Waste original.