Fruit Compote for a Sultan


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Fruit compotes are very popular throughout Turkey, ranging from a simple sultana compote, kuru üzüm hoşafı, to a colourful mix of apricots, figs, prunes and nuts. Perhaps subtly enhanced with rose-water or orange-blossom water, hoşaf is frequently served to refresh the palate at the end of a meal — a tradition favoured by the Ottoman sultans, who spooned it over plain pilaf. Such were the refinements that on one occasion Mehmet the Conqueror was served hoşaf in a bowl fashioned from the frozen juice, so that the fruit could be served chilled without spoiling its taste and texture.


  • 4 oz/120 g sultanas, soaked for at least 6 hours
  • 6 oz/175 g dried apricots, soaked for at least 6 hours
  • ½ pints/900 ml water
  • 8 oz/225 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange-blossom water


  • Drain the fruit, put it in a pan with the fresh water, and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes. Then stir in the orange-blossom water and leave to cool in the pan. Serve chilled.