When I first learned about compotes in 2014, I immediately knew this would be a technique I’d leverage for years to come. Apples, berries, tomatoes… Sweet, savory(-ish)… there is so much versatility and varied application for a reduced sauce made up of broken-down fruits!
One of my favorites is serving a meaty whitefish (say, halibut) with a tomato compote and adding some roasted tomatoes on the vine to the plate for presentation; the tomato with the whitefish may as well be playing a symphony. Apple-ginger is another go-to with diced candied ginger root mixed in; I can’t tell you how much I enjoy a freshly cooked waffle with a scoop of this on top. Rocks my world every time.
The technique for making any kind of compote — which essentially should take the form of a somewhat more liquidy batch of preserves — is largely the same: fruit component, a bit of liquid to reduce and break down the fruits, a pinch of acidity and sweetness to balance everyone out, and LOTS of time. This is most definitely a lazy Sunday type of recipe: throw everything together and forget about it!
Speaking of versatility, don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and/or spices alongside your fruit components. Just be sure to fish them out (or put them in a sachet for easy removal) once it’s ready to cool! As I’ve said before, the sky’s the limit!
NOTE: if you’re using apple or white grape juice, be sure to account for the additional sweetness those ingredients will introduce. The sugar is “to taste” for a reason!
Ingredients: (Yield: ≈ 28 oz)
- 64 oz frozen mixed berries
- 20 fl.oz water (sub apple or white grape juice)
- Granulated sugar, to taste (sub brown sugar)
- A splash (≈ 2 fl.oz) of lemon juice
- Grab a stock pot and set it on the stove top. Set heat to high.
- Add the frozen berries to the pot.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and wait until everything comes to a rolling boil.
- Cut the heat to low and stir everything together.
- Let compote simmer uncovered for 3-4 hours or until the liquid has reduced to ¼.
- Cut the heat and let cool. Adjust seasoning to your preferences.
- Strain compote into a container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Save the berry syrup for later use, if desired.
- Serve with waffles, pancakes, latkes, etc., or use as an oat bar filling. Really, just do you at this point!