Dana Slatkin

Sugar-Free Fresh Apricot Compote

Sugar-Free Apricot Compote

Fresh apricots are some of summer’s juiciest delicacies. Soft and fragrant, I spotted some last week, irresistibly mounded in a wooden crate at the farmers market. I filled up two bags and brought them home, wondering if we could devour them all before they turned to mush.

Then I remembered my favorite Bonne Maman compote from France, which I have never been able to find here at home. With summer slipping by and the half-life of apricot season well behind, I attempted to replicate the deliciously tart conserves, less sweet than a jam but more concentrated than a purée.

Sugar-Free Apricot Compote 2

Since the apricots were at their peak, I figured I could eliminate all white sugar, relying on their natural sweetness. But I wanted to add some harmonizing flavors, so I used a combination of orange juice and maple syrup, simmering the fruity liquid down to an ambrosial nectar. For the final touch, I scraped a fresh vanilla pod into the mix. The notes were just right; the texture fluid and luscious…liquid sunshine.


Dip into a bowl of this with a toasted baguette and you might feel transported to a French café. Add a handful of roasted pistachio nuts to the bowl and serve it as a condiment to cheese and crackers. Or spoon some over ice cream, angel cake, even panna cotta. Happily, summer is still in full swing.

If you enjoy making preserves, try making Nectarine Apricot Chutney and Nectarine Preserves.

Enter our July cooking contest for a chance to win an autographed copy of my cookbook (featuring summertime cooking), and other cool free stuff!

Photo credits: memoriesinthebaking.blogspot.com and theshiksa.com

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  1. Lana says:

    You are so right about apricots in all their glory not needing any additional sweeteners. I love to make small batches of compotes, jams and preserves, and your idea of adding maple syrup and orange juice will make for another wonderful version.
    Now that I have found your blog, I have to go through the archives:) Looking forward to!
    And, Go Bears (my eldest daughter is a sophomore at UC Berkeley)!

  2. Jenn A says:

    I love your recipes and this one sounds delicious. The name is a bit of a misnomer, though, since it contains quite a bit of sugar (maple syrup is pretty much all sugar, as is reduced juice). Even if it’s natural, sugar is sugar, so it’s not really sugar-free. It’s nice to cut down on the overly-refined stuff, though.

  3. dana says:

    Thanks for your comment, Jen. Technically you’re right, and I agree with you that we all need to moderate sugar intake. But I think natural sugars are a better choice than white sugar. And life without a little sweetness would be unbearable!

    xo Dana

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