Nana's Fruit Compote

When I married, I really hit the in-law jackpot. Nana and Buck were kind, loving, caring, generous and every other good thing you can think of. They set the standard for wonderful in-laws. I loved them dearly and in their eyes, I was another daughter. My two sisters-in-law welcomed me into the family the same way- with open arms. We laughed, enjoyed each other and spent many memorable holidays together. I look back on those years with a fond and grateful eye and miss them all so much- I'm sad to say they are all gone now. But two of their many precious gifts to me were confidence and laughter. Those are the most important things anyone can give you. Of course, love is a given.

Now Nana was not precisely the Julia Child of her generation but she had some wonderful old family recipes I still use. This fruit compote is one of my favorites. It's thick, rich and extremely sweet so you better keep the portions small. The cold sour cream on top is a necessity as it cuts the sweetness and besides, that cold thick spoonful on the warm dark fruit makes it irrestible.

The recipe is amazing, really. You just open a couple cans and one box, squeeze an orange and a lemon, add sugar and that's it. It roasts in the oven for a couple hours... you do some stirring and it caramelizes into a heavenly dark, thick mass of fruit. You aren't going to be able to stop eating it. Let's not discuss calories- you really don't want to know.

Nana's Fruit Compote


1 box dried apricots
1 large can drained peaches
1 can black cherries with juice
1 orange, juice only
1 lemon, juice only
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 pint sour cream


Mix all the ingredients except the sour cream in a large bowl. Mix well.

Pour into a 9" by 9" baking dish and bake at 350° until caramelized. Stir well by turning over the fruit every 15 minutes or so. Takes close to 2 hours. When all the fruit is caramelized and thick, you'll know it's done. Serve warm with sour cream on top.

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