Friday, September 27, 2013

Apple and Pear Compote

Compote is pieces of fruit cooked in a syrup with a few spices or flavorings like cinnamon, cloves, orange zest and sometimes even bits of nuts. Compote was a French dish originally and was served as a dessert along with cream. It is different from fruit preserves - 1. compote has whole pieces of fruit and 2. compote does not contain pectin which gives jams and marmalades its jelly like texture.
For me, I have always had a fancy for preserves. I have often bought preserves from stores and have stuffed myself with bread just so I could eat some of the preserves :) Another thing that fascinated me is the use of fruit sauces on puddings, ice creams and desserts in general. So, I checked for recipes and liked the idea of making compotes since it does not use preservatives and can be easily made at home with available ingredients.
During my last two trips to the weekly market, I saw these green apples that were going quite cheap as compared to the otherwise inflated prices. And the pears are also making a come back in the markets right now. I bought them both, some to be eaten raw and I wanted to give a compote recipe a try.
Apple - 1 cup
Pear - 1 cup
Honey - 2 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
Bay Leaf - 1 small
Lime essence - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1/4 cup (+3tbsp)
The apple and pear are to be peeled, cored and diced into small pieces and then measured. The size of the fruit will hence decide how much you need to use. It took me 1 apple and 1.5 pears to make a cup each. The recipe is quite simple, put all the ingredients except the lime essence together in a pot and mix well. Put the pot on low heat and cover and cook. When cooking, keep an eye on it so it does not catch the bottom and burn. The fruits should soften in about 15 minutes. Once done add the lime essence and take it off the heat. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
The apple and pear compote is ready.
It can either be cooled, bottled and refrigerated to be used later as a topping on ice creams and puddings or can be served for dessert on it own. To serve, take a dessert goblet and spoon the compote till half full, top with whipped cream and a pitted cherry.

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