Fruit compote is delicious and can be made with just about any fruits you want. It will always taste different. Today I had two peaches from my CSA that were going bad, an extra apple, and some leftover berries in my freezer that I decided to pull out. When your fruit is starting to bad, you don’t want to spend the time making jam or other preserves, making compote is quick and easy and can be frozen or kept in the fridge for up to two weeks if sweetener is added. Lets get started!
What you need:
- Lemon Juice (optional)
- Sweetener (optional) Sugar and Honey work best
- Herbs: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, etcetera (optional)
Peel your fruit and chop it up. I will sometimes not peel my apples if the skin still looks nice. If you do this I recommend making sure you chop your apples up to smaller pieces as the peel will not break down and will stay whole for the most part. Put all of your fruit into a pot, add a splash of water and a splash of lemon juice, cover, and bring to a simmer. Adding lemon juice will bring out the natural sweetness of the fruits a bit more and will replace the citric acid tang to the fruit flavors.
After 20-30 minutes of simmering your fruits should be broken down. Some larger pieces may need to be mashed a bit with a spoon and others will not break down with out longer cooking. You can continue to cook if you desire but it is not necessary. Allow your fruit to cool with the lid off to allow it to thicken further. *note* if you have added any blueberries or other pectin containing fruits, it will thicken more easily. Not everyone wants a thick compote, however.
When it is cool you can add sweetener and herbs to taste. Today I did not add any herbs to my compote but I will when I go to use it. I enjoy putting compote on my granola or yogurt. It can also go great on ice cream, toast, pancakes or crepes, or anything else you want a bit of fruit sweetness. Your compote can be stored in the fridge for about a week or longer if you have added sweetener which will also act as a preservative. If you will not use it in that time you can freeze it with no problems.
You may also notice that while this compote was 80% peaches and apples the color of the blackberries and blueberries really comes through. If you want a lovely red color, only a few of these berries are needed to achieve it. The flavor of this mix was very peach and strawberry heavy with only a few strawberries in there as well. I hope you enjoy making your own compote blends this fall as the lovely fruits come off of the trees. Let us know in the comments below what combinations you try out. Or just make some apple sauce with the same method.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or to work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultations visit The Dancing Herbalist.com.