Some Compotes

Technically, compotes are any mixture of fruits, peeled (if necessary) and poached in sugar syrup. My mom used to make a compote of raisins, apples, pineapple, and nuts, I suspect from a recipe in The Joy of Cooking (the old wartime edition). There are thousands of recipes for compotes. Here are a couple.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Compote with Glazed Pecans

In this recipe the fruits are poached separately

Strawberry Compote

1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and left whole
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. kirsch

Make a simple syrup with the water and sugar. Pour the syrup over the strawberries in a large heatproof bowl. When cool add lemon juice and kirsch. Stir gently. Refrigerate.

Rhubarb Compote

1½ lb. rhubarb, stems only, ends trimmed, strings removed
1 cup water
1 cup orange juice
1½ cups sugar

Cut rhubarb into 2 inch pieces. Make syrup with water, sugar, and orange juice. Pour the syrup over the rhubarb in a large heatproof bowl. When cool, refrigerate.

Glazed Pecans

2 cups pecan halves
1 egg white
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325°. Toss pecan halves in egg white until completely coated. Stir in sugar. Transfer pecans to baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until pecans are browned and it smells so good you can’t stand it any more. Transfer to clean baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Cool, cover, store at room temperature.

To serve spoon a bit of each fruit and its syrup into a serving cup and top with glazed pecans.

Dried Peach Compote with Mint and Whiskey

This savory compote is particularly intended to be served with lamb.

14 oz. dried peaches cut in ¼ inch strips
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. honey
1 cup fresh mint, minced
⅓ cup bourbon

Bring honey, peaches, and water to the simmer in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until peaches plump, about 20 minutes. Stir in mint and whiskey, simmer another 2 to 3 minutes until alcohol boils off. Let cool. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

9 comments… add one
  • I made something similar to your mother’s a few years ago. The peach looks interesting. It looks like it might be good with duck, too. We have a good recipe for duck, and a good source. Same problem as lamb, though.

    Rhubarb is hard to come by here.

  • Just came back from Sunday brunch at the Carriage House. Hobnobbed with a man and his mother who live at Hawthorne, one of the big houses. Charming, both of them.

    Bingo Starr’s food is outstanding. Brunch is a steal at $16. Bloody Marys and mimosas cost$3.

  • Here are other suggestions:

    Cardinal: strawberries, peaches, and pears poached as above, served over vanilla sorbet with raspberry puree

    Carignan: pears, peaches, and apples poached, scooped out and filled with chocolate ice cream

    Friande: peaches, apricots, and nectarines poached, dressed on fresh pineapple, flamed with kirsch (my mom used to make this when my dad brought special clients over)

    Sarah Bernhardt: strawberries and peaches, poached, served on pineapple sorbet (that’s a simplified version)

    I have others but they begin to get complicated.

  • I’m sticking with the KISS principle, since I’ll be doing this one alone.

  • My MIL can be a bear to cook for. If meat has a hint of pink or a bead of moisture left, it just ain’t done.

  • And thank you, Mr. Dave.

  • OK, so I have the menu:

    Boiled shrimp (always)
    Turtle soup ( I can go ahead and make the stock now)
    Greek salad
    Lamb chops (OK, I’ll bite the bullet for MIL)
    Peach compote
    French bread (might buy the good stuff from Natchez Coffee)

  • And the mint potatoes.

  • steve

    Think the peach would go well with venison? Have some in the freezer. Dont have any peaches we dried this year, just cherries, but guess I could use store bought.


Leave a Comment