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Mixed Dried Fruit Compote with Star Anise Recipe

Serves: 8-10
Preparation time: 10 minutes plus overnight soaking
Cooking time: 30 minutes

125 g each dried apple rings, apricots, figs, peaches, pears, prunes and dates
150 g dried mango slices
6-8 star anise
Thinly pared zest and strained juice of 1 large lemon
25 g (5 teaspoons) caster sugar, optional

Put the dried apple, apricots, figs, peaches, pears and prunes into a large bowl, then pour over 1.5 liters of cold water. Cover the bowl tightly and leave the fruit to soak overnight. Place the fruit and the water in a large saucepan. Add the dates, mango, star anise, lemon zest and juice and the caster sugar (if using). Stir them together gently and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the compote into a heatproof bowl. Serve hot, or let cool, cover and refrigerate for up to seven days.

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13:33:00 on 11/04/06 by Webmaster - Recipes -

Why are dried wild apricots so different from ordinary dried apricots and why are they so expensive?

Hunza apricots grow wild on trees in an area spanning Kashmir to Iran. They are left on the tree until completely dry and then harvested. As they are not treated with sulphur dioxide, they turn brown and have a deep and rich taste. Their relative scarcity makes them expensive. An alternative is to buy cheaper unsulphured, sun-dried apricots. Free from preservatives, they turn a chestnut brown, differing from the usual orange fruit.

11:32:00 on 11/04/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -