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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Dried Fruit

    Hello there, I received many different and exotic dried fruit recently (dried kiwi, pineapple, figs, dates, cranberries, prunes, apricots, etc.). Any suggestions as to how to use them please? I have about 3 or 4 kilos combined. Thank you, Irina.

    From the nigella team:

    For dried fruits a fruit compote is one way to use them. Put the fruits into a saucepan and add enough water just to cover. You can add some sugar, honey or maple syrup as a sweetener though as the fruits should be quite sweet already you may prefer to wait until the fruits are cooked and then sweeten the compote at the end. Bring the pan to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until the fruits are soft and have absorbed most of the water. Let the compote cool down then refrigerate until needed. You can serve the compote solo, with some cereal at breakfast, or with yogurt or cream.

    Dried fruits could also be chopped and used to fill the centre of apples before baking, used in a home-made granola or museli and used in a fruit cake. Try substituting some of the dried pears and apricots in Nigella's Gorgeously Golden Fruitcake (from Christmas) for other dried fruits.

    If the fruits are glace or candied fruits then they are best eaten as they are, or used as a topping for a fruit cake or a dense sponge cake such as a madiera cake. For instructions please see the Glossy Fruit and Nut Topping for cakes on p177 of Christmas.

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