The word ‘compote’ is French for ‘mixture’, and this thick, stewed fruit is used to add a rich, fruity hit to all kinds of dishes. You can make compote with different types of fruit mixed with sugar, a splash of water or juice, and seasoned with citrus zest, plus your favourite spices. The whole lot is slowly simmered until you have a thick, syrupy mixture. This can be used in savoury or sweet dishes, whether swirled into yoghurt or spooned over roasted meat. Experiment with plums, gooseberries, rhubarb and raspberries – all are fabulous in a compote. Here we’ve gone for cherries, using one of summer’s loveliest fruits. Make a batch and use it whenever you fancy a touch of sweet cherry – we’ve got four easy ideas to get you started.
Makes 1 x 600g jar
• 1.5kg fresh cherries, pitted
• 300g sugar
• Zest and juice of 1 orange
• 1 vanilla pod, split in half
1 Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the cherries have softened and start to release their juices. Stir the compote and continue cooking for about 45 minutes, or until thickened. Allow to cool, then spoon into sterilised jars and seal. Enjoy warm, or let it cool and store in a jar for a few days.
Per 100g serving 222 cals, 0.3g fat (0g saturated), 1.7g protein, 51g carbs, 50.8g sugars
Now make these…
Cherry compote with granola & yoghurt
Add your favourite low-fat yoghurt to a bowl and loosely stir through a couple of teaspoonfuls ofcherry compote. Place in bowls or serving glasses and top with a little granola. Finish with a drizzle of honey if you fancy it.
Cherry, berry & apple crumble
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Peel, core and chop up a few red apples, and tip into a medium-sized ovenproof dish along with a few spoonfuls of cherry compote and a handful of mixed frozen berries. Make a crumble topping (combine oats, flour and brown sugar and rub in cold butter until it comes together). Layer this evenly over the fruit. Bake for 35–40 mins until golden.
Roll out sweet shortcrust pastry on a floured surface to 2mm thick. Cut out as many rounds as you can to fit your tart tin. Grease the tin with a little melted butter, line the holes with the pastry and press down lightly. Brush with beaten egg then spoon in cherry compote and a pinch of sugar. Bake for 12–15 mins, then leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack.
Cherry ripple ice cream
Allow a tub of vanilla ice cream to soften at room temperature. Add spoonfuls of cherry compote and carefully stir it through to create a rippled effect. Leave in the tub or transfer to a dish, then return to the freezer for 2–3 hours to harden. Serve with extra compote, if you like.
Recipes & styling by Christina Mackenzie, photography by Sam Stowell. Save 35% when you subscribe to Jamie magazine, wherever you are in the world, here.