Dried Fruit Compote


We served a delicious country ham from Tennessee for Christmas Eve, along with a Roast Turkey. The ham was incredibly salty, even after a two day soak in water, and we like it that way. To balance the saltiness, it is nice to serve a dried fruit compote on the side… It’s really not so much about balance but a riotous explosion of salt and sugar and acidity that wakes up your tastebuds… Yum. To make, start with good dried fruit. I used two kinds of dried apricots (turkish and californian), dried pears, nectarines, peaches, figs, and a little dried mango. Add sugar and water and a little fruit liquer and let it simmer for some 25+ minutes until soft. I added a stick of cinnamon and you can add other spices as well. Make this a day or two in advance and it’s out of the way and sitting in your refrigerator until needed…


These dried fruits were sent by Sister, in NY, and they were superb on their own, fresh and slightly moist and terrific with some wedges of good cheese. But with so much on hand, a compote was a good idea. A little slice of ham, some mustard, a little compote, pop it into your mouth, close your eyes and enjoy… :)



19 Responses

  1. MM, the ham I made for Christmas tasted like ‘Ham-ba’ (ham and humba). The mishap has not deterred me to experiment again.

  2. The ham looks awesome!!….and the dried fruits looks great to dip in dark chocolate.

  3. The ham looks fantastic. I have to admit I’ve never had country ham / Smithfield ham in all the years I’ve been living here in the US. Our holiday hams here in the US have typically come from Andronico’s (they make a delicious apricot-glazed ham) or from Honeybaked (“the good side of prosaic” lol).

    I miss Majestic ham from the Philippines…

  4. fried neurons, oddly, I too have a taste for Majestic, which we can get often at the grocery. But I love the salty American hams as well. Artisan, you have given me an idea for the rest of the dried fruit…maybe for a Valentine’s dinner. pinoycontests, yes, there is a brown sugar and mustard glaze. diday… did you use soy sauce?!

  5. No, I did not use soy sauce. I was following your 2006 christmas ham article. The ham was overcooked and I must have added more sugar.

  6. Diday, don’t overcook a ham or it shreds. Undercooked is better since you slice it thinly anyway. Figure 20-25 min. per lb. for dry country hams, total cooking time. So for a 16 lb. Clifty or Smithfield ham simmer gently for 4 hrs. after soaking for 2 days. Then bake for 20- 30 min. with glaze.

  7. That ham made it to Manila via Balikbayan box, this year’s shipping experiment. Note that it was a dry cured ham, from Clifty Farms in TN, did not require refrigeration, and was shipped in it’s original shipping box with popcorn and air around the ham so it would not rot (do not wrap in plastic). So you can send one from the US to Manila this way for Christmas 2009…

  8. Got a taste of dried persimmon the other day and they say that the thin white frosting on the skin is its own natural sugar. Is this how our dried mangoes are prepared also?

  9. to Marketfan re: dried persimmon, the Japanese way of drying persimmons is labor intensive and takes a long time to get the persimmons that way, it encourages the fruit’s sugar to crystalize through airdrying. I think our dried mangoes go through a commercial processor/dehydrator. Not sure if mangoes would survive something like the persimmons drying process.
    By the way, if you google dried persimmons, you’ll see the air drying process, it’s very cool! There are some farms in Sacramento that still use the traditional style of drying the persimmons, not many left, but some of the Japanese-American farmers that maintain the tradition sell some of the best dried persimmons in the US.

  10. I always look forward to leftover ham for split pea (or any type of beans)soup. After over indulging from the holidays, nothing beats a hodgepodge of vegetables over a simple old soup for homecooked goodness.

  11. Thanks eej and fried-neuron, you have given me an idea for tonight’s supper. Leftover Christmas ham-ba and cannelloni beans soup.

  12. my heart is working hard now after days of eating ham ;)…well thats the downside of eating good stuff but what the heck I’ll just eat more vegetable after new year.

    I remember the chinese ham from quiapo that my nanay use to cook during christmas. It is so hard that if you hit someone with it he’ll experience pacquiao power.

  13. just too bad, we gave the bone leftover from the ham we had for noche buena to our dog…i’ll search for that lentil soup or any soups since for sure we’ll have a leftover again come new year’s eve feast.

  14. My mom also use chinese ham, and I remember she used to cook it with beer (and some other stuff I don’t know what) for a looong time.

  15. Terrey: you shouldn’t give ham bone to your dog.The nitrites or other preservatives in the ham might cause allergy to your dog.Just save the ham bones and scraps for your next soup dinner!:)
    Happy New Year to one and all!



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