Mirkatan (Armenian Fruit Compote)
In this ancient Armenian recipe, plump and juicy dried fruits mixed with nuts and sections of orange are macerated in a delicately spiced wine syrup. The compote can be served either warm or cold, plain or accompanied in the traditional manner by rosewater-scented whipped cream, or, as I prefer it, with Greek yogurt lightly sweetened with Hymettus honey. (Keeps for 4 days in the fridge—do not freeze.)
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup dried peaches or pears
- Enough freshly brewed tea to cover the dried fruit
- ¼ cup walnut halves
- Scant ½ cup fruity red wine
- 3 strips of orange rind
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ cup superfine sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
- 2 navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
- To serve: Whipped cream with a few drops of rosewater mixed in or Greek yogurt drizzled with honey
- The day before serving, put the dried fruits in a bowl and pour the strained tea over them. Cover and leave overnight.
- The next day, strain the fruit into a bowl, reserving the liquid, and insert the walnut halves into the prunes. If necessary, add enough water to the reserved tea to make a scant 1 cup. Pour this into a wide pan with the wine, orange rind, cinnamon stick and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Add the dried fruit, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the fruit is tender and the syrup has thickened. Stir in the lemon juice, orange blossom water and orange sections. Serve hot or cold, either plain, or with your choice of topping.
- Reprinted with permission from 100 Best Jewish Recipes: Traditional and Contemporary Kosher Cuisine from Around the World by Evelyn Rose with Judi Rose (Interlink Publishing, 2015).