Christmas Eve in Poland is celebrated with a completely different menu than Christmas Day (I suspect this is true for other countries too). According to tradition the Christmas Eve meal should consist of 12 dishes (thankfully side dishes and beverages count too!)! In my early days of cooking I took this custom very literally but I’ve embraced a less stressful approach since and stopped counting. Some dishes have been dropped, as a result, but the one thing I always make is the traditional Polish Christmas Eve Compote.
This Christmas Eve Compote is usually made with dried apples, pears and prunes (and other varieties of dried fruit, though less often), but I make mine using prunes only. For me prunes have a very intense and delicious flavour and the other fruit are just not needed. My recipe is simple, full of festive aromatic spices, citrus notes, and low in sugar. Prunes are famous for their high nutritional content, including a fair amount of iron and fiber, which I suspect is the reason why this compote is served on Christmas Eve, where a good proportion of the other 11 dishes is made with wild mushrooms and sauerkraut! Prunes help the digestive system cope with all this rich food and allow the fine tradition of overindulgence to continue (personal theory, but not completely unfounded I think:).
This aromatic compote can be served hot or cold, with or without the fruit (which can be added separately to yogurt, morning porridge or smoothies). I like my compote clear and cold and sip it throughout the Christmas Eve meal instead of wine. If I’ve got any leftover compote I drink a glass if I crave something sweet (instead of reaching for another mince pie).
Be kind to your digestive system this Christmas and make this prune Compote! And don’t forget to let me know what you think about it:)
If you are a fan of prunes < HERE > is another recipe using prunes:)
3 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
18 minTotal Time
- 500 g prunes (pitted)
- 1 and 1/4 l water
- 6 cloves
- 1 short cinnamon stick
- Fresh ginger (about 1.5 cm long, peeled) - not traditional, but works well!
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and allspice
- Small piece of lemon and orange rind
- 1 level tablespoon sugar
- Place all the ingredients in a large pot, cover and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Separate the fruit from the liquid. This is optional and you can serve the compote using a ladle or transfer it into a jug.