Stewed fruit: A traditional Armenian treat

Our recent post about
sour cherries drew a comment from our frequent contributor Ara, who noted that
he’d made his own sour cherry preserves. That got me thinking: It’s been too
long since I cooked with fruit.


Armenian Stewed Dried fruit


We
happened to have a generous supply of dried apricots, figs and prunes on hand –
all traditional Armenian favorites – so I tossed them all in a pot, added just
enough water to cover and turned up the heat.

The
result was a treat I remember as anything but. Stewed, dried fruit falls into
the fairly large category of foods I remember seeing the old folks eat when I
was too young to appreciate anything that wasn’t coated in chocolate.

The much
older me has come to appreciate fruit of all sorts, more so now that I’m trying
hard to steer clear of cakes, ice cream and most other desserts in order to avoid being unable to squeeze through the
kitchen door.

Yes, I’m
aware that dried fruit is on the outs in some healthy-eating circle because of
its concentration of sugar, but it’s also loaded with fiber and other good
stuff. I figure it has to be better for me than eating a doughnut, if only
because it isn’t fried.

I do
like sweets but not if they’re too sweet, so I don’t add sugar to my stewed
fruit. You certainly can. And following Ara’s excellent recommendation
regarding the cherries, a little Armenian brandy certainly can’t hurt.

But I
chose the simplest preparation: just fruit. It only takes about 15 minutes and can
be served cold, warm, or hot, but I definitely recommend spooning it over plain madzoon.

Armenian Stewed Dried Fruit

Ingredients:
Two cups dried apricots, figs and prunes mixed together.
(You can use any combination of fruits you like.)
¼ cup sugar (optional)
Water.

Directions:
1. Cut larger pieces of fruit into bite-size pieces, trimming
and removing any stems.
2. Place fruit in a sauce pan and add enough water to cover.
3. Add sugar and stir it in now if you like an extra sweet,
thick syrup.
4. Bring to boil, then reduce to a low boil and cover. Stir and
check occasionally.
5. Reduce liquid to about a third of original level, then
refill.
6. Let the liquid reduce again and cook until the fruit is
soft. Add more water if you want more juice.Remove from heat.


Serve hot, warm or cold as you like. 
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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous May 8, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Had to laugh. I would probably enjoy this now, but I shuddered when I saw the picture – brought me right back to visiting with my grandparents as a kid and there always being a huge bowl of this in the refrigerator. My grandfather would eat the fruit over his cereal in the morning (hot or cold cereal). I thought it was sooooo gross back then. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Robyn Kalajian May 13, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      I know just what you mean, Chris. I felt the same way about this as a youngster, but now, I realize it's a dish to enjoy – especially over yogurt!

      Reply
  2. Unknown December 26, 2016 at 4:45 am

    So awesome 🙂
    My Armenian grandmother always made this and I loved it. I'm making it again now!

    Reply
  3. chilled October 2, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    on porridge…delicious.

    Reply

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