Learn how to make stewed fruit from dried fruit in your slow cooker with this easy recipe. You can serve this winter fruit compote over oatmeal for breakfast, or over rice pudding or vanilla bean ice cream for dessert!
Disclosure: I was provided with a free Crock-Pot brand slow cooker to test out. All opinions stated within are my own.
The beauty of the Crock-Pot is they are reliable slow-heating machines that allow you to set them and forget them. You put all the ingredients together in the Crock-Pot and start it, then you go about your day, and a few hours later, your meal is ready!
I used the slow cooker perhaps in a less traditional way to revive and warm dried fruits in a light syrup with a few spices. Of course, you could also do this in a regular pot on the stove. Served warm over some hot oatmeal, it's just perfect for a tummy-warming breakfast on a chilly morning.
Stewed Fruit Ingredients
- water—you need a lot of water to revive dried fruit to plump them up and make them delectable
- sugar—I stick to granulated sugar because I am looking for a clean flavour, without the molasses notes of brown sugar.
- dried fruits—I used apples, pears, cranberries, apricots, and prunes. Just make sure they are unsweetened and plain (not flavoured)
- spices such as cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves
- citrus zest—orange and lemon
Please see the recipe card for exact quantities.
Substitutions and variations
Stewed fruit are so simple to make with few ingredients, yet offer so many opportunities for variations and substitutions:
- Sugar: Granulated sugar is sweet, but flavourless so won't interfere with the spices or the dried fruit. Maple sugar or maple syrup would be an interesting option to replace it because the flavour is subtle and not overwhelming! You could also try light brown sugar but not dark because the flavour of the molasses is too potent.
- Spices: I used warm spices (cinnamon, cloves, star anise), but you could also try cardamom and ginger, for example.
- Dried fruit: I love dried pears and apricots in this recipe, but apples, prunes, cranberries, cherries, mango, pineapple and many others will also work. You ca customize this recipe with your favourite fruit!
After the compote has cooled down, store the stewed fruit with the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can eat it cold, or reheat it on the stove on low or in the microwave.
If you have a slow cooker and want to use it for more than just soups and stews, try this recipe for Crock-Pot cinnamon rolls!
If you tried this stewed fruit recipe (or any other recipe on my website), please leave a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
- 750 mL water
- 100 grams granulated sugar ½–1 cup, depending on how sweet you want it
- 500 grams unsweetened/plain dried fruits I used apples, pears, cranberries, apricots, prunes
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5 star anise
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 navel orange zested
- 1 lemon zested
- In the Crock-Pot (I used the old version of this Crock-pot), stir together the water and the sugar with a wooden spoon.
- Drop in all the dried fruit, spices, and zest, and stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and set it to high.
- Let the mixture cook for about 4 hours or until you are ready to serve it (my Crock-Pot switches to a “warm” setting when time is up so you could even set it overnight for a warm breakfast).
- Serve the warm stewed fruit on cooked oatmeal for breakfast or with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
- You can use any dried fruit you enjoy in this recipe such as cranberries, pears, apples, peaches, apricots, prunes, raisins, etc. Just try to keep the total weight of the fruit close to the weight listed in the ingredients.
- If you don't have a slow cooker, you can combine the ingredients in a medium–large saucepan, stirring well, and bring the mixture up to a boil and then simmer the dried fruit on medium–low until plump and softened. You may put a lid on the pot or at least partially cover the pot to make sure that the water doesn't evaporate completely.
- I love to serve this winter fruit compote warm over oatmeal for breakfast or over rice pudding or vanilla ice cream for dessert.