In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in apples, peeled, cored, and sliced; dried apricots, cut into slivers; and dried cranberries. Cover; cook over medium-low heat about 5 minutes or until apples are just tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside.
In a medium saucepan stir together 1 cup packed brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in half-and-half or light cream, water, and corn syrup. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and bubbly (mixture may appear curdled). Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir fruit mixture and 1 teaspoon vanilla into brown sugar mixture. Serve over spice cake or gingerbread. Makes 8 to 10 servings.