While researching Finnish desserts for this month, I reflected on ‘Tropical Fruit’ month.  I was reminded how lucky I am here in Australia to have an abundance of locally produced fresh fruit available to me.  All year round.  No exceptions.

Unless it is your preference, there really is no need to create a dish with ingredients that are preserved, dried, or cured.  No reason the ingredients cannot be fresh.

Fruit soups are a popular part of the dessert table in Finland.  During the summer months they would be made with an abundance of fresh, wild berries.  In the winter, with fruits that have been preserved for those darker (and much cooler!) months.

I came across a variety of mixed fruit soup recipes that incorporated a selection of some of my favourite dried fruits.  Apricots, prunes, pears and apples.  I have always been fond of dried fruit, even though the fresh variety has always been on hand.

This dessert is incredibly simple to make – and well worth the minimal steps required for the taste and scent alone.  The warm, aromatic aroma of the cinnamon is so alluring and while you are heating the sugary syrup, your whole kitchen will permeate with this sweet-spicy smell.  The gentle cooking produces fruit that is both sweet and deliciously soft.  It is equally tasty by itself, or made even more special by the addition of cream, or served along side some creamed rice.

{ Sekahedelmäkeitto :: Mixed fruit soup }

I have seen a few recipes including a variety of different dried fruits, a few different ratios of sugar to water, and a few different cooking techniques.  This version is my variation on the Sekahedelmäkeitto.

If you know of the Sekahedelmäkeitto, I would love to hear about the technique you use.

* Ingredients *
150g / 5oz of mixed dried fruits (I used prunes, apples, pears and apricots)
2 cups of water
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons potato flour / starch
Double thick cream, optional

* Directions *
Into a saucepan, add the fruit, water and sugar.  Set aside for 4 hours, or preferably overnight.  Add the cinnamon and gently bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer for 15-30 minutes.  Remove the cinnamon stick and fruit to a separate bowl.  Mix the potato flour with an equal portion of water to form a paste.  Bring the sugary syrup again to the boil, and slowly add in the potato flour.  Whisk well and continuously until well combined and the mixture has thickened.  Set aside and allow to cool.  Once cool, combine the syrup with a selection of fruit in a bowl or glass of choice.  Serve with a dollop of cream, or with rice pudding.

Serves 2