During the Ottoman Empire water had not found its place on the tables yet. Instead various fruit compotes from either dry or fresh fruits were prepared and served cold. Actually these were similar to fruit juices we have today.
Although not very often, hosaf-from dry fruits and komposto-from fresh fruits is still prepared in Turkish kitchens. Especially during the fasting month of Ramadan these always made ready.
Fresh fruits that are often used in compotes are apple, apricots, quince, peach, various cherries like cornelian and sour cherry. Fruits should be washed, then peeled for bigger fruits such as apple, quince, peach, and pear. The seeds should be taken out from all the kinds.
Dry fruits that are used are generally apricots, prunes, raisins, and figs.
When there is something dry – such as a borek, pilav or bulghur fruit compotes are a nice treat to make swallowing easier.
Pretty easy to prepare, you just chop to fruits to small pieces and boil with sugar and water. Most dry fruits are already sweet, so adjust the sugar according to your taste, less is better.
I chose to use dry and fresh fruits combined. When boiling the fruits take into consideration their probable cooking time. For instance apples cook quicker so add them a few minutes after you’ve add the pears. There are no artificials included in the compotes so they are a good alternative to canned fruit juices.