Cover with tepid water, let stand, then wash carefully (if the washing is attempted before the fruit has had time to expand to normal shape the pieces will be bruised and there will be dirt and sand remaining in the cooking water). Throw off the water. Add fresh, almost boiling water, and allow to stand for several hours. At the end of this time the fruit should have absorbed its normal amount of water and will hardly need any cooking. But if it should be a little tough, simmer over a slow fire.
Add cinnamon stick or sugar last, but always remember that dried fruit should practically need no sugar. Cool, then remove pieces carefully with the skimmer to the serving dish, and pour the strained juice over it.
The common mistakes are to wash inadequately and to cook too fast and too hard.