So, 28 February is ‘International Fruit Compote Day’ and I believe the best way to observe that day is to, yup! make fruit compote at home. I absolutely love quick fixes, and if you do too, then compote is your go to. First, let me rave over compotes. They take less than 10 minutes IN TOTAL to put together and last up to THREE WEEKS in the refrigerator. No, I’m not done raving! You just take it out of the fridge, warm it, pour it and garnish it for a sensational dessert. In short, you CANNOT GO WRONG WITH COMPOTE!
Compote is essentially nothing but a sweet fruity syrup because it is made of exactly those two ingredients – i.e. fruit and sugar.
The most popular fruit compote, I would say, is made with berries. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cranberries are some of the “berry” awesome flavours. And then, there are other fruit compotes made with apples, pears and peaches too. Of course, if you are being adventurous, you might want to go for a combination of the fruits.
I have previously shared the recipe to a cranberry compote in an earlier post, but today, I am going to share the simplest and most basic compote recipe with some variations that you can try.
We have listed some of the fruits that are used but let’s also give a moment to discuss the sweetener. The most common sweetener is, of course, good old white sugar. However, there are other options. Honey and agave are gaining popularity, while maple syrup is a delicious option which is also vegan. The best part is that you can make this all year round because using frozen fruit (without even needing to thaw it) is perfectly fine.
Enough said, let’s cook!
500g fresh or frozen fruit – for berries, whole or halved
2 Tbsp sugar or 3 Tbsp maple syrup / honey
1 pinch salt
1. Add the fruit or berries into a saucepan.
2. Add the sweetener and salt.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil on a medium flame – this should take approximately 5-7 minutes for fresh fruit or 10-12 minutes for frozen fruit.
4. Once boiling, lower the heat and mash the fruit to your desired consistency. You can use a potato masher for the bigger pieces of fruit or simply press it down with the back of the spoon.
5. Stir frequently until it thickens to half the amount. Check for sweetness and add more if you prefer.
6. Switch off the flame.
7. Allow to cool, and then, spoon or pour the compote into a jar and keep it refrigerated for up to three weeks.
Now that we have the compote, let’s talk about how to serve it. It honestly works like magic on yoghurt and ice cream but is also great on pancakes, waffles and french toast. I personally love it with crackers and cheese!
If you are feeling indulgent, you can create yet another layer of flavour by adding a garnish. Lemon, lime and orange zest are great options if you are looking to add a tangy flavour. Alternatively, balsamic vinegar, added once the compote is cooked but still warm, will enhance the fruity flavour and give it a tartness. On the other hand, adding ground ginger or cinnamon, basil or mint leaves, while the compote is warm, will infuse a spicy sophistication into your dessert and create an all new flavour.
There is no right or wrong answer, so experiment with as many combinations as desired and create your own signature compote. Let me know your favourite flavour in the comments below.