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Vintage Fruit Sauce

Vintage Fruit Sauce
An innovative use of yeast in fermenting favorite fruits for a sauce used on desserts, meats and many other foods. Many people prepare Vintage Fruit Sauce in decorative jars as gifts for friends.
Yield 2 batches



Vintage Fruit Sauce

  • 1 cup Fruit Starter (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup canned peaches in heavy syrup (drained and cut into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup canned pineapple tidbits in heavy syrup (drained)
  • 6 maraschino cherries (cut in half)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Fruit Starter

  • 3/4 cup canned peaches in heavy syrup (drained and cut into pieces)
  • 3/4 cup canned pineapple tidbits in heavy syrup (drained)
  • 6 maraschino cherries (cut in half)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast


Fruit Starter

  • Combine ingredients and place in a large glass jar with a loose cover – an apothecary jar is perfect. Stir several times the first day, then stir once a day. At the end of two weeks the starter has fermented enough to make sauce.
  • TIP: One cup of the starter is enough to make the sauce so the other cup may be given to a friend along with the recipe, or used to start a second batch of sauce. We do not recommend doubling the sauce recipe.

Vintage Fruit Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in a large glass jar with a loose cover; stir well. Set in a fairly warm place. Continue to stir once a day. Fruit Sauce can be served after one week. Fruit and sugar must be repeated every two weeks. No need to refrigerate. Sauce will keep many months if directions are carefully followed.
  • TIP: When recipes calls for…
    Vintage Fruit syrup – drain Vintage Fruit Sauce and use liquid collected.
    Vintage Fruit – drain Vintage Fruit Sauce and use the fruit collected.

Every Day Uses

  • Desserts
    Spoon over angel food or pound cake, ice cream or sherbert, pudding
    Layer with ice cream for parfaits, dessert crepes, cheesecake
  • Toppings
    Combine fruit sauce with whipped cream, sour cream and brown sugar, sweetened whipped cream cheese, macaroon cookie crumbs, granola cereal, chopped nuts
  • For Main Dishes
    Spoon over sliced ham, Canadian bacon, pancakes or French toast
    Add to rice or stuffing
  • For Salads
    Spoon over cottage cheese, lettuce cups (top with sunflower nuts or cashews)
    Fold into your favorite gelatin
  • For Vegetables
    Add to cooked carrots or squash
  • For Fruit Compotes
    Heat Vintage Fruit Sauce, spiced grapes and sliced grapes
    Combine Vintage Fruit, sliced pears and green grapes
    Combine Vintage Fruit, orange slices and toasted almonds for breakfast


  1. Vintage Fruit Sauce is easy to start with any of our dry yeast products and will keep for months with very little attention. An apothecary jar of Vintage Fruit Sauce is an attractive conversation piece on a kitchen counter. Here are some tips to help you in making your fruit sauce.
  2. You can be enjoying this delicious Vintage Fruit Sauce in 3 weeks. The fruit starter takes 2 weeks to ferment; then the sauce can be made. The fruit sauce needs to ferment for 1 week and then is ready to use. For best fermentation, the sauce should be made in two small batches rather than one large batch. Fruit and sugar should be added to the sauce every two weeks to keep the fermentation process going.
  3. If you use a large amount of sauce at one time and have very little fruit left, replenish the sauce with 1 cup fruit and 1 cup sugar for each cup of sauce used; let stand overnight before using again. Return any drained syrup to the sauce mixture.
  4. For both the Fruit Starter and Fruit Sauce, use peaches and pineapple in heavy syrup; the sugar in the syrup helps in the fermentation process and the fruit has a bright color. Stir each day to help dissolve the sugar. Always keep in a loosely covered glass jar in a fairly warm place as air and temperature are important in fermenting the fruit.
  5. If you use Vintage Fruit Sauce frequently, you may like to have two jars of Fruit Sauce going – then you’ll always have some extra to give to a friend. It’s a great gift idea too!
Photo by Julia Mestas.

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Review & Comments

John | Reply

This was called “Baptist Fruit” back in the 1970s. In fact the starter we used was from Baptist folks. It appeared to be a way to have alcohol without fear of peer judgement.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Thank you for the interesting history, John!
Happy baking!

Sara | Reply

5 stars
I finally found the recipe!!! My mom made this when I was a kid and the recipe never surfaced. I’ve looked multiple times to find out what it was called so I could make it and THIS IS IT!!!! Can’t wait to start the tradition with my children.

Bud Rupe | Reply

My wonderful Mother in Law used to make this starting with a can of fruit cocktail purchased at the Grocery store if I remember correctly. What if any difference would change in the recipe? PS: She was as golden as the best of any summer sunset.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Bud,
Fruit cocktail will work just fine. Use about 1 1/2 cups of the fruit cocktail to create your starter, and about 1 cup for the Vintage Fruit Sauce.
Your mother-in-law sounds like she was a great lady! 🙂
Happy baking!

Robin Brown | Reply

5 stars
My mom used fruit cocktail also, in antique tom’s glass candy display jar

Snow days and Schnapps – Mondays With Oliver | Reply

[…] of the more interesting ferments in my kitchen this week is an old favorite from Red Star Yeast.  Vintage fruit sauce is a fermented fruit cocktail that is good on its own, fabulous frozen into […]

Robin Chesser | Reply

Cannot wait to try this!

craftyaj | Reply

when the fruit is ready after 2 weeks if I don’t want to seperate the starter into seperate 1 cup starters can I just add the new fruit to the orginal starter or will this reck the starter. What amounts do I use? Thanks

Red Star Yeast | Reply

We recommend dividing the starter into separate 1 cup containers.

Happy baking!

Anonymous | Reply

5 stars
This looks great….is there alcohol at all in the final product? I would think that letting fruit ferment would produce alcohol.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Yes, the fermentation will produce some alcohol.

Joan Carnett | Reply

5 stars
I am happy to know this Vintage Fruit Recipe is still around. I remember making this delicious mixture back in probably the 50’s or 60’s and just happened to come across the recipe when I was looking for some other Red Star bread recipes in my collection. It was wonderful and we loved it on our homemade yogurt. It was very pretty to serve in a beautiful glass bowl for parties to go along with other foods and ice-cream and especially a big bowl of yogurt then as well. Joan Carnett

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