I make fruit compote every week as it is easy, uses up gluts of fruit, it can be made from frozen fruit straight from the freezer, and it is so versatile to have in the fridge. It is not the healthiest way to eat fruit due to the added sugar and losing some of the vitamins, but I find it so useful and it saves me time later. It is also nearly a free food for me as we forage a lot of brambles and apples and grow a lot of berries and fruit in the garden.It was called stewed fruit when I was a kid, and I didn’t really like it as my Mum would add loads of water, but the French word ‘compote’ sounds more appetising and I add hardly any water now, just enough to stop the fruit burning in the bottom of the pot as when it cooks the fruit will release it’s own juice.
I am trying to slowly empty a freezer at the moment so that I can turn it off to save energy, but also to make room for my harvest from my garden this year. I took out a big bag of rhubarb a few days ago which is about 3 years old, as it is from when we had the allotments. I had been reminded that I had some when I saw Morrison’s selling 3 sticks for £2.49. The shop had a big crate of it and so there must be some rich people out there. I couldn’t believe the price. I have some rhubarb growing in my garden that I replanted from the allotment, but it won’t be ready for quite a few months.
You can make compote out of most fruit just by adding a bit of water and some sugar to taste (I use about 3 dessert spoons for a full saucepan of fruit as I usually add a couple of chopped dessert apples to sweeten it naturally and make the fruit go further). I then simmer it until the fruit is just soft.
Some of the ways I use compote are:-
1. I will add to rice pudding to make Muller type rice pots.
2. I will serve hot or cold with custard.
3. I will fill pancakes.
4. I will serve with yoghurt.
5. I will add a square of sponge from the freezer and microwave for a quick sponge pudding.
6. I will add to porridge.
7. I will add to overnight oats.
8. I will fill a pie or put underneath a crumble or cobbler.
9. I will fill a pastry tart case and pipe cream on top.
10. I will place some on top of a bread and butter pudding before cooking.
11. I will mix with milk (or coconut milk) to make ice pops for the kids.
12. I will serve with ice cream.
13. I will serve with waffles or French toast.
14. I will cook apple compote longer and with more liquid and whiz it into a sauce and use to bake cakes to replace eggs.
15. I will use in a cheesecake.
16. I will serve with granola and yoghurt
This week we had it with the rice pudding, in porridge, with custard, and with waffles and yoghurt as I am not baking again this week. I added a bit of ginger to make it more tasty. (I sometimes add cinnamon to apple, or grate orange zest into rhubarb to mix the taste up a bit. Some people add vanilla). I love cheap food that is versatile and you can cook and use in different ways throughout the week.
During Autumn we forage for apples along places like the canal. I still have quite a few wrapped up in newspaper in the spare room. Mixing fruits like strawberries and rhubarb produce lovely compotes. My favourite compote is bramble (blackberry) and apple and so it is worth getting pricked and stained fingers in the summer to get tubs of this free fruit. What is your favourite compote and how do you use it?