Living in Northern California, we are so fortunate for our bounty of delicious produce. Now we are reaching the tail end of the summer harvest of stone fruit - peaches, nectarines - but you still can buy pears and plums, and maybe some strawberries. I cook with what's in season, and maybe if I get very ambitious next summer I might even start canning all this wonderful summer fuit in glass jars for winter. Oh, right, you can freeze berries. I should have thought of that early in the season!
I have been making fruit compote quite often this summer for dessert. It's SO delicious and you can try many fruit combinations.
The recipe is easy:
about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of washed fruit such as pears, nectarines, peaches, plums, pluots. if you are using pears, it's better if they are not too ripe (they'll fall apart completely while cooking). peel them, leaving the stems on. You're going to cook them whole, and they are pretty with the stem on. If you are using the other fruit, do not peel, but quarter the fruit lengthwise removing the seed.
1 lb or more of berries - strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries. if you are using strawberries, remove the stem and "collar" you just want the fruit. you are using the fruit whole, not cut up.
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cinammon stick (optional)
1/4 cup of wine - red, rose or white, according to your taste.
1 to 1 1/2 cup water
Put all of your clean fruit into a medium to large heavy pot that has a lid and can enough to accommodate the fruit so they fill the pot up to about 2" from the top rim. Pour the sugar over the fruit, add the cinammon stick, pour the wine over, add the water.
Heat the fruit over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Then lower heat to simmer the fruit, and cover the pot with the lid. Simmer for about 20 minutes then turn off the heat. Let your fruit compote cool and remove the cinnamon stick. It is delicious at room temperature or cold. It will keep in a plastic or glass dish with a tight lid in the refrigerator for up to a week.
plum and raspberry compote