DRIED FIG, APRICOT AND CHERRY COMPOTE

Serves 8.

       Also sensational over vanilla ice cream.

            2 1/2 cups water
            1 cup sugar
            2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
            1 8-ounce package dried Calimyrna figs, stemmed, figs halved
            lengthwise
            1 6-ounce package dried apricots
            1 cup dried tart cherries (about 4 1/2 ounces)
            3/4 cup brandy
            3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

            Combine 2 1/2 cups water, sugar and cinnamon sticks in large saucepan. Stir
            over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to
            medium-low; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add figs and simmer uncovered 3
            minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in apricots, cherries and then brandy. Return to
            heat and simmer uncovered until all fruits are tender but still retain shape, about
            10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in crystallized ginger. Cool. (Compote can
            be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve at room temperature or
            chilled.