Last summer my mom made a batch of pluma moos from one of her good friend’s recipes. One spoonful of the stuff was enough to catapult me into a childhood memory of eating the German fruit soup around a friend’s grandmother’s kitchen table. I don’t remember any details besides loving the smooth sweet slurp over my tongue and burst of cherries between my teeth.
When I finally found a source of large, affordable bags of dried fruit here (where I live a deprived life without regular access to Costco), I couldn’t wait to experiment with this bright, energy-packed breakfast “soup.” Before I had a chance to, however, the whole bag mysteriously disappeared at the hands of a peckish partner.
The next time I bought two bags, and hid them.
When I came across a recipe for dried fruit compote (which is thicker than soup) in Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Café, this blogger—always looking for ways to tweak even a near-perfect recipe—just had to give it a try. Maybe one day when I’m busier I’ll have a less “tweaky” kitchen. That’s why I’ve got to get the culinary lab scientist out of me now while I have the time and energy.
Here are two fruit soups that will inevitably take on your own stamp. Kinda like my granola recipe, they are, in the words of Blue Rodeo, never the same way twice. Sort of romantic, no? The first is care of one of my mom’s (and my) good friends, and bears the traditional low German namesake. The second is my own adaptation — perfect for adding to plain yogurt. And I promise you, when it comes to fruit, water, and sugar, errors are pretty much impossible.
Cobie’s Basic Pluma Moos
- Fill a medium saucepan to 3/4 full, bring to a boil and add 3 cups of the following dried fruits, cut up: Apples, apricots, raisins, pears, peaches, plums, craisins, cherries, etc. (Good brands of mixed dried fruit will come with most of these.)
- Return to a gentle boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Whisk 2 Tbsp starch (flour, cornstarch, or my favourite, arrowroot powder–it’s soothing to the stomach and sweeter than the other two) into a little water, and add to the simmering fruit. Leave on element for five more minutes.
- Remove from heat and add 3 Tbsp to ½ cup sugar. Mix well, and let cool.
Jen’s own “Fruit on the Bottom” Yogurt Compote
3-4 cups mixed dried fruit, chopped into chunks*
3-4 cups water*
*the higher the fruit to water ratio, the thicker your compote. Use more water if you desire a more soupy consistency. Water can be added at later stages, so it’s best to start thick.
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 Tbsp. orange or lemon zest
2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder + 2 Tbsp cold water
1 Tbsp-¼ cup sugar (optional)
either 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice or ½ cup half and half cream
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the fruit, cinnamon stick, and zest. Let mixture come to a gentle boil and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk arrowroot powder and cold water together and stir into the fruit. Let the mixture simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir in optional sugar: I find the fruit sweet enough to have leave it out completely.
- Depending on your preferred consistency, add more arrowroot powder or water.
- Stir in either fresh lemon juice, or for a real treat, 1/2 cup half and half cream
- Serve hot or cold, with granola, ice cream, or (for the no-cream version) yogurt.