Who says all your side dishes need to be savory? This traditional southern Hot Baked Curried Fruit recipe features a mix of canned fruits topped with a rich butter, brown sugar, and curry mixture that’s baked into sweet, fruity perfection. It’s a great classic side dish for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.
If you’re planning your holiday dinner and need another idea for a side dish, I’m here to help! At first glance, you may think that this recipe is a dessert, but it’s traditional in the south to serve this Hot Baked Curried Fruit as a side dish with turkey or ham.
The contrast of a little sweet along with the savory is a very southern thing. We do love our “sweet and salt” in the south – biscuits with a slice of ham and peach preserves, cream cheese with sweet-hot pepper jelly, curried baked fruit with a perfect Roast Turkey and Southern Cornbread Dressing. Yum.
This is a fall and winter recipe which uses readily available canned fruits along with butter, brown sugar, and curry powder. When it’s cooking the fragrance will fill your home with a beautiful holiday scent!
❤ Why We Love This Recipe
- It’s the perfect side dish for holiday dinners and adds a touch of sweetness to a buffet loaded with savory food.
- Super easy to make! 10 minutes of prep (and most of that is opening cans).
- Curry adds a warm aromatic note to the fruit and enhances its natural sweetness.
🥘 Ingredient Notes
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- Various Canned Fruits (these are ordinary, easily sourced canned fruits available at any grocery store.)
- Maraschino Cherries (optional but highly recommended)
- Curry Powder (I recommend only McCormick brand curry powder for this recipe. This was the most widely available brand in rural America during the time period when this recipe originated (following World War II) so it’s important for the authentic flavor of the original dish.)
You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
🔪 How to Make Baked Fruit
Before You Begin
Before you start the recipe, be sure to drain all the fruit very well. I usually place mine in a colander in the sink and let it sit for 20 minutes or so. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine Fruit with Curry Mixture
Pour the butter, sugar, and curry mixture over the fruit. Mix lightly taking care not to break the fruit.
Bake the Fruit
Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
🍚 Storing Leftovers
If you have leftovers, allow them to cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Freezing is not recommended as the fruit will become mushy when thawed.
- Make sure the fruit is very well drained otherwise the finished recipe will be watery.
- Canned apricots are sometimes more difficult to source than the other fruits. If you can’t find them, you can increase the other fruits to compensate.
- This recipe is a wonderful accompaniment for almost any poultry or pork recipe. I’ve served it with marinated pork loin, roast chicken, and even with fried quail.
❓ Questions About Curried Baked Fruit
As I’ve said above, I only recommend McCormick’s curry powder for this recipe. I have no idea what’s in other brands, how mild or spicy they may be, or how their taste might alter your outcome with the recipe. McCormick’s is available everywhere.
Hot Baked Curried Fruit is not in the least spicy. The hot just means it’s hot from the oven. The curry powder used in this recipe contains no spicy ingredients at all.
You can use fresh fruit in this recipe if you like. However, I don’t recommend it. Besides taking much longer to prep (you’d have to peel, core, pit, and chop all that fresh fruit), it would cost quite a bit more than using canned counterparts.
🧾 More Popular Holiday Dinner Recipes
- Stuffed Turkey Breast
- Apricot and Prune Stuffed Pork Loin
- Sweet Potato and Pecan Stuffing
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Old Fashioned Copper Pennies
- Baked Acorn Squash
- Pear Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
- Lime Congealed Salad
- Raspberry Jello Mold (Polly’s Pink Stuff)
- Old Fashioned Southern Green Beans
- Kumquat and Dried Cherry Chutney
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Hot Baked Curried Fruit
- 30 ounces canned pineapple chunks drained
- 15 ounces canned pear halves drained
- 15 ounces canned peach halves drained
- 15 ounces canned apricot halves drained
- 10 ounces maraschino cherries drained
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (McCormick brand)
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Allow all the fruits to drain very well in a colander.
- Layer the fruits in a 9×13 baking dish.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, curry powder and butter. Heat until the butter and sugar are completely melted.
- Pour over fruit and mix lightly taking care not to break the fruit.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
- Make sure the fruit is very well drained otherwise the finished recipe will be watery and take care to break the fruit as little as possible when tossing with the butter mixture.
- Leftovers should be cooled completely and then stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on November 17, 2010. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.