Preserving fruit is a regular activity in the fall kitchen. I’ve been drying blueberries in the dehydrator and oven drying loads of sweet Roma tomatoes. So I was thinking about baking recently and took a quick inventory of my supply of dried fruit. They’re a favorite ingredient for holiday baking so I try to make sure I have a wide variety. The variety was there but most of it was from last year, so it was time to make some room. I decided to make a versatile favorite, fruit soup. Years ago I found a great recipe in a church cookbook called Norwegian Fruit Soup. I was instantly capitvated and have made it many times over the years. You can eat it hot, you can eat it cold. It’s great as a topping for ice cream, on hot cereal, mixed with yogurt and granola, or just by the spoonful. The mix of dried fruit can be different, depending on what you like and what you have on hand. Here’s my most recent iteration based on what was available in my kitchen.
Elaine’s Crockpot Fruit Soup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- 3/4 cup golden and regular raisins
- 3/4 cup dried apricots, cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup dried plums (aka prunes), cut in half
- 1/3 cup dried mango
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons candied ginger, cut into small pieces
- 2 lemon slices (more about this one later)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamon
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 4-5 whole allspice
- 4-5 whole cloves
- 6 to 8 cups water
- 3 apples, cored, peeled and cut into cubes
The night before (or several hours) put all of the fruit except the apples into a crockpot along with the sugar, honey and spices and pour in the water. If you’re cooking overnight, set the crockpot on warm and cover. That’s essentially it. The next day, or whenever the fruit is soft, add the chopped apples and simmer on high for about an hour. The apples should be cooked but not mushy. The smell alone will have everyone’s mouth watering. If you’re not going to eat it immediately just spoon into jars and store in the refrigerator. Depending on the size of your family, this recipe could last up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
I mentioned the lemon slices in the above recipe. I got this great recipe from my sister-in-law, Skye Morgan O’Malley and it’s sensational.
Lemons in Honey
Slice enough lemons to fill a glass jar. Pour in enough honey to cover the lemons. Put the lid on and place in the refrigerator for about 4 days (okay, 2 if you just can’t wait). I used a couple of slices in the Fruit Soup, and it’s a great way to add some pizzazz to a cup of tea or a wine cooler.