Every week I post one recipe from Latviešu ēdieni.
I've talked a little bit before now about my stay in a Latvian hospital. One of the things they gave me with my first meal was a hot sweet drink called kompots. I wrapped my hands around the steaming mug and inhaled the essence of spicy tart apples. I sipped, the warm, almost sticky liquid sliding down my throat and setting the butterflies in my stomach at ease. I looked up at my husband, "What is this? We have got to make this!" He laughed and told me he was glad I liked kompots.
Kompots is a simple drink made from dried fruit, water and sugar, along with a bit of citric acid or dry white wine. It can be served both hot and cold, the latter with whipped cream floated on top. In this one, we used cranberries to add the necessary acid, but you could use oranges or wine as well. It's easy to make since most of the "cooking" is unattended soaking of one form or another -- which makes it a great choice for making while you prepare a lot of other holiday dishes. This is one of the dishes I'll be making for Thanksgiving!
I'm so glad to see fresh cranberries in stores finally. So many Latvian recipes make use of this tart little berry but finding them in my area, even frozen, outside of the next two months is next to impossible. We bought a bag and once the holiday season is in full swing (and the sales start popping up), we'll be putting away several bags to use throughout the rest of the year. I love having a chest freezer! My food budget's been slashed with all of the food we were able to sock away at the end of summer. But that's another post.
If you need a flavorful, not too sweet, and oh so delicious alternative to the typical punch or 'nog this holiday season, give kompots a try.
Adapted from Latviešu ēdieni
Makes about 1.5 liters
- 80 g prunes, chopped
- 70 g fresh cranberries, finely chopped
- 40 g dried apples (with no added sugar)1, chopped
- 40 g raisins
- 60 g sugar
- 1 1/2 l water
In a medium pot, combine prunes and apples. Pour in the water and let soak until rehydrated (about 20 minutes). Bring to a boil, add sugar, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Stir in raisins and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. The fruit should be very soft. Remove from heat and stir in cranberries. Let stand for 10 - 20 minutes.
Serve warm as-is or cold with a bit of sweetened whipped cream.
- Really. I mean it! You don't need sweetened dried fruit for this - it throws the sugar balance all out of whack. We used Bare Fruit Dried Apples which worked beautifully.