Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ginger fruit compote: a recipe

Ginger fruit compote
Breakfast is my biggest challenge.

Well, not eating it, of course, but making it, and keeping it interesting and not repetitive.

(When I worked full-time, I ate oatmeal every single morning for nearly a year because I was always running late and could throw a packet in my briefcase to make at work. I really don't recommend this unless your goal is specifically to hate oatmeal for years afterward.)

My criteria for good breakfast recipes are quick, portable and non-frying-pan-dirtying. Apparently this is a pretty tall order.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited about this dried fruit compote when I realized how versatile it could be.

First, it's easy to prepare: just stew up any combination of your favorite dried fruits with some ginger beer (yes, ginger beer -- fun!) and -- voila -- you're done.

Second, it keeps for quite a while in the refrigerator, so it can made ahead of time (say, on the weekend) and used throughout the week.

Third, it's not necessarily just for breakfast. In fact, the original recipe recommends serving it over vanilla ice cream as a dessert (yes, that would be awesome, as would be serving it with pound cake). But I've been using it as a breakfast condiment by stirring it into yogurt and topping it with nuts and granola. And it is also excellent swirled into a bowl of hot oatmeal, giving it some extra zing and heartiness

As with so many others lately that you'll see here, this recipe comes from Bon Appetit. I cooked mine down quite a bit longer than the recipe called for, which is why mine doesn't really have the "ginger syrup" of the original (I think that would make it more dessert-y and less breakfast-y). So depending on how you want to use it, just cook it a little less or a little more.

You know, do the would-I-eat-this test.

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Ginger Fruit Compote (adapted ever-so-slightly from Bon Appetit)

1 12-ounce bottle ginger beer
1 cup water
1 1/4 cups chopped dried fruit (I used apricots, prunes and golden raisins but you could go crazy here)

Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture reduces and reaches your desired consistency, about 35 minutes for more of a syrup and closer to 50 minutes for a thicker compote. Cool and store in the refrigerator.


  1. I spent a great long weekend in Charleston SC drinking vodka and ginger beer -- a "Moscow Mule". My hosts insisted that it had to be drunk from an antique copper mug; don't get it but decided to go with the flow.

  2. Love the sound of this!!! AND I have a ginger beer in the fridge. It's fate.

  3. Colette: we discovered Moscow Mules recently, too! Yummy. Pam: definitely fate -- and you don't have to bake it. :-)

  4. I have the same issue with breakfast. In fact, this weekend I bought a big tin of steel cut oats, resolving that I would finally! really! eat a decent breakfast in the morning. This? Would be perfect on that oatmeal. Ginger is one of my favorite flavors!

  5. @ohkeeka: I've got a post for a killer baked oatmeal coming up this week or next that you would really enjoy!

  6. Simply can't wait to get to the store....all our home (actually roof)-dried fruit is gone for the year, but a few bags and some ginger beer ought to do the trick. My daughter, who is frequently ill, has come to rely on ginger (candied, dried, syruped, soda popped) to settle her stomach. She ought to go ape over this!

  7. Hope your daughter enjoys it. Please come back and let me know what you thought of it!