Middle Eastern fruit salad with cashew cream

Middle Eastern fruit salad with cashew cream

Elisa Watson

There was always a bowl of stewed dried fruits, or ‘compote’ as we called it, in my grandparents’ fridge and it appeared at the end of every meal. This version combines dried apricots with fresh peaches, figs, citrus fruits and grapes to make it healthier and more sophisticated. Persimmons add an exotic touch but only have a limited season in Australia; replace with mango or nectarine when unavailable. The cashew cream is a delicious alternative to dairy – it’s a little bit earthy and not too sweet.


Quantity Ingredient
200g dried apricots
1 vanilla bean, seeds only
1 star anise
500ml apple juice
175g honey
3 yellow peaches, halved, stones removed
150g red grapes, cut in half
2 blood oranges, segmented, or small pink grapefruits
1 persimmon, sliced
3 black figs, sliced
mint sprigs, to garnish

Cashew cream

Quantity Ingredient
155g raw cashews, soaked in cold water for a minimum of 3 hours
1 tablespoon honey
1 pomegranate, seeds only, to garnish


  1. Combine the apricots, vanilla seeds, cinnamon stick, star anise, apple juice and honey in a saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer for 12 minutes, until the apricots are soft and the liquid is slightly reduced. Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise, and set aside.
  2. Cut each peach half into roughly six segments. Place the peaches and grapes in a mixing bowl. Pour in the apricot mixture, stir to combine, and leave to cool completely.
  3. To make the cashew cream, drain the cashews, retaining the soaking water. Place the cashews in a high-speed blender with 190 ml of the soaking water. Blend until you have a smooth cream, about 2 minutes. Stir in the honey.
  4. When the grapes and peaches are cool, add the orange segments and sliced persimmon and spoon into a serving bowl. Scatter the sliced figs over the top and garnish with mint sprigs.
  5. Top the cashew cream with pomegranate seeds and serve with the fruit salad.
Jewish cooking
Chicken soup
Yom kippur
Dinner party
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