Nearly all fruits can be served as compotes. They should be cooked in water, flavoured with a vanilla pod, and a few lumps of sugar. They should remain whole. When they are quite soft remove them carefully and put them to cool. To the remaining water add a good deal of sugar and cook till it becomes syrupy. Pour over the fruit in the serving dish. Apples, pears, peaches, greengages, figs are very good treated in this simple manner. Serve with or without cream.