Summer heat can really bring you down and when it comes to cooking, nobody wants to slave over a hot stove. On the other hand, we all still want nice fresh food. What a conundrum! When it comes to dessert, though, there is a solution: a nice cool fruit compote.
One of the great things about compote is that it is so versatile. You are not limited to seasonal fruits. With summer upon us, stone fruit are available and they make great compote. You can choose to adjust the sugar and spices to please your taste, which also means that you are eating a dessert that won’t send you straight to the dentist.
Depending on how many people you want to serve this to, you can change the quantities, but the basic recipe goes like this:
1 kg of fruit
4 tbsp of sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Nutmeg to taste
- Put on a large pot of water to boil
- Cut the fruit. If you are using stone fruit then into eighths, but if you are using apples or pears, cut them into generous wedges. The size is really a matter of personal taste.
- Add the fruit to the boiling water, the water should cover the fruit generously
- Add all the spices
- Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, then cool
This is the basic recipe, but of course there are ways to make it more interesting. Depending on your mood, you can always add dried fruit to the boiling fruit, such as prunes, raisins or apricots. The dried fruit will absorb the water and become plump and juicy, giving that extra burst of sweetness and adding their own subtle flavours to the mixture.
Cloves have many uses, but in compote they simply add flavour; however, it is an acquired taste so it’s best not to overdo it. There are many other variations to this recipe using different fruit and spices, so all you have to do is find the one that suits you best.
Compote is best served chilled and if you want to give yourself an extra treat, try serving it with some delicious home-made ice-cream. So at the end of another hot, humid day, you can come home to a cool treat that you don’t have to feel guilty about.