Luscious blackberries from Hagerman Berries in Idaho crossed my path recently, thanks to Market Day Foods (thank you gang!) The package was frozen, and threw off seemingly half it’s volume in deep purple juice, so the stacked w/fresh fruit blackberry pie I was dreaming of was not to be. Learning to be more of a cook that starts from ingredients then figures out what to make (instead of fixating on a recipe and hunting down ingredients, often overlooking what is fresh and available), I started playing around with fruit compotes.
Any fruit cooked in a bit of simple syrup is a “compote”. How do you use compotes? Spoon a couple tablespoons on your plain yogurt for breakfast, or top desserts like ice cream, pannacottas, and cheesecakes. I just learned that the French originally served compotes as afternoon snacks with sour cream and biscuits. (Mmmmm!)
Recipe inspired by Jennie Schact’s Rhubarb, Blueberry & Cream Parfait in her book Farmers’ Market Desserts.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 8 - 10 oz. blackberries (fresh or frozen or thawed from frozen; if thawed from frozen, drain juice and reserve for another use)
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (or an infused vinegar like Olivelle's Vanilla Pomegranate Balsamic)
- 1 small pinch ground cinnamon (or ¼ tsp. Olivelle's Sugar & Spice Dipper)
- optional: a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Place sugar and water in small saucepan over medium heat and swirl until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add blackberries, stir to coat with syrup, and bring to boil. Reduce heat, add balsamic and cinnamon, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes until fruit is quite soft, then mash a bit with a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust flavor with additional sugar or a few drops of lemon juice.