How to Make Ukrainian Uzvar (Dried Fruit Compote)
This is an old family recipe for Ukrainian Uzvar.
My mother-in-law, who emigrated from the Ukraine, handed down to me her Ukrainian recipes. Among them was this recipe for a dried fruit compote called Uzvar, which is one of the twelve traditional foods that Ukrainians eat on Christmas Eve.
The traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve supper is called Sviata Vechera. It is traditionally held on the evening of January 6 before the family goes to church. Each of the twelve foods represents one of the twelve apostles.
This dried fruit compote is easy to make, but it does require some time. It is not a quick recipe. The time is well worth it, as the recipe makes a delicious compote that keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
- 4 ounces of dried pitted prunes
- 4 ounces of raisins
- 8 ounces of dried apple slices
- 8 ounces of dried pear quarters
- 2 quarts of apple cider
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup of honey
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1. Combine the prunes, raisins, apples and pears in a large, stainless steel stockpot.
- 2. Pour in enough apple cider to cover the fruit and then add about half again as much. Do not worry if it seems like a lot of liquid. The fruit will absorb a lot of it, and then you are going to cook down the rest.
- 3 Add the cloves and lemon peel.
- 4. Simmer the fruit in the juice until it is all cooked, but not to the point of falling apart.
- 5. Drain the fruit and reserve the liquid.
- 6. Put the liquid back into the stockpot, and cook to reduce it by one third.
- 7. Add the honey and cinnamon, along with the juice from the lemon.
- 8. Return the fruit to the pot with the liquid.
- 9. Reheat while stirring gently. Be careful not to demolish the fruit!
- 10. Taste the compote and add more lemon juice if necessary. The fruit taste should dominate this compote. It should not taste cloyingly sweet.
- 11. Serve the fruit compote warm in glass or crystal bowls.
Do you carry on the old traditions Christmas Eve supper on January 6?
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