Fabulous Fruit Compote
A simple compote is one of the best ways to capture the taste of seasonal fruit. I get so excited when I see local berries after the long grey winter that I want to buy them all. Making compote has become a great way to justify buying too many berries and also the best way to use up fruit that’s just past its prime. Here I have mixed some of my favourite summer flavours and combined them with a pure vanilla bean and warming spices to create a compote that can be served warm or cold, morning, noon and night. Serve for breakfast over pancakes, for an afternoon snack with seeds and yogurt or for dessert overtop a little cake or ice cream.
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 cups chopped fruit and/or berries
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- 1 star anise
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1-2 Tbsp orange flower water or rose water optional
Split vanilla pod lengthwise with a paring knife and, using the back of your knife, scrape out the paste-like seeds from inside. Add scraped seeds and pod into a medium-sized saucepan.
Add chopped fruit/berries, honey, water, lemon juice, star anise, cinnamon and ginger slices. Put saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for up to 10 minutes, depending on how stew-y you like your compote
Remove from heat and stir in the orange flower water if using. Remove the vanilla pod (save and reuse, see Note ), cinnamon stick and star anise. Serve warm or cold. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week, or freeze up to 3 months.
Orange Flower Water: Orange flower water (or orange blossom water) captures the essence of orange blossoms. It is wonderfully fragrant, almost like a perfume. It can be found in most gourmet food shops and is something I do like to splurge on. A bottle will last me up to year and for any foodie it makes a great gift.
Zero-Waste Tip: Vanilla beans aren’t exactly budget friendly but neither is pure vanilla extract. The pods holding the vanilla seeds/beans can be reused easily, making them worth it for me. Simply rinse the pod well with water and leave to dry on the counter and reuse. I like to add them to sugar or salt to make it vanilla flavored or even better, try making your own homemade vanilla extract, check out the recipe for my 100% Vanilla Extract (page XX here).