This makes a lovely change from all the stodgy desserts we usually eat over Christmas. I halved the amount of syrup from the original recipe as we all thought it made far too much.
Caster sugar - 90 g
Water - 500 ml
Vanilla bean - quarter, split in half lengthwise
Dried figs - 4, quartered
Dried apricots - 10, halved
Pears - 3
Granny smith apple - 1
Lemon - 1
Pomegranate - jewels from half (pith and skin discarded)
1) First make the syrup. Place the sugar, water, vanilla bean and four 5cm long strips of lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool for 10 minutes and then add the figs and apricots. Leave to cool completely.
2) Squeeze the juice of the lemon into a bowl. Peel and core the apple and pears and slice thinly. Immediately after slicing toss them in the lemon juice and then place them in a large serving bowl. Pour over the cooled syrup and then sprinkle over the pomegranate jewels.
3) Refrigerate for at least an hour and then remove the vanilla bean (which can be dried and reused) and lemon zest before serving. Serves 4-6.