Our apricot tree is overloaded with apricots this year so I have been trying out a variety of different apricot recipes. I am particularily enjoying an apricot compote recipe, however I am having trouble interpreting one step in the recipe:

  • Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until apricots are glazed and syrupy, 7-8 minutes.
  • Transfer to a small bowl and chill.

The chill part has me confused as I am not sure if I should let the syrup chill to room temperature on the counter then cover and store in the refrigerator. Or if I should remove from the heat and immediately store it in the refrigerator. What's the best mechanism for chilling a hot compote?

  • What jar/container are you storing it in?
    – Mien
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 17:29
  • @Mien just a Rubbermaid tupperware container. If there's a better a container to store it in let me know.
    – ahsteele
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 20:44
  • 1
    possible duplicate of Putting warm food in the fridge
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 16:59
  • 1
    For the clarification on the 'chill' ... Typically it would be 'let cool' if they wanted it to come to room temperature, and 'chill' if they expected refrigeration. Of course, going straight to the fridge with hot things has the other implications that Jefromi linked to.
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 1:51

1 Answer 1


There is nothing especially interesting going on in a hot compote. You can chill it as quickly or slowly as you want to, until it reaches the desired temperature. Food safety requires that you don't keep it for more than 4 hours in the danger zone (between 60°C and 4°C), but if it is in individual serving bowls, on-the-counter chilling should be enough. Also, don't put large amounts of hot liquids in the fridge, you risk raising the entire fridge's temperature to unsafe levels, and the inside of a large container won't cool quickly enough to leave the danger zone. If you made lots of compote at once and want it very cold, chill it in an ice water bath.

The final temperature can be whatever you prefer. I eat my compote slightly colder than room temperature (15°C to 20°C). You can eat it fridge-cold, room temperature, or even hot, if it tastes better to you.

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