Fruit compote is basically fruit simmered with sugar and water to break down the fruit in a sweet syrup. Some people associate it with the New Year as bringing good luck and well wishes. You can use a variety of different spices and flavors, including liquor, in addition to the fruit. I made a very simple orange compote – with oranges in season (and just over the border from FL) this was a delicious, tangy sweet treat.
I then added sour cherries and shallots to create a topping for pork chops. I had leftover compote, which I mixed with Jasmine rice the next day as a side dish. Next time I plan to make a batch of the plain orange compote with honey to pour hot over fluffy Southern-style biscuits.
You can serve compote with basically anything: over ice cream, bread, meat, yogurt, oatmeal, with whipped cream … yum! Making your own compote is very easy and tastes so good without the artificial thickeners or syrups. Fruit compote packaged in glass jars and tied with festive ribbons make great homemade holiday gifts also.
This recipe serves 2.
- 2 large oranges
- 2 tbsp. orange zest (use a fine grater/zester)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Dash salt
The oranges need to be peeled, segmented, deseeded – I cut the ends off each orange and used a knife to *carefully* peel the orange so I could pull away the segments. You don’t want any of the pith (the white bitter “skin” under the orange peel) or the membrane around the fruit segment, because you want the orange to break down softly and not become chewy or bitter. You should end up w/about 2 cups fruit.
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients w/ 2 tbsp. water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally until the oranges break down and the liquid is a bit syrupy, about 15 minutes. Feel free to add cinnamon or other spices at this point. Your kitchen will smell divine.
Store in a container in the refrigerator, up to 2 weeks.
- 2 pork chops (I prefer bone-in for this recipe but you could also use cutlets)
- 1/4 cup dried sour cherries
- 1 shallot, sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
Cook the pork chops until opaque throughout. Heat the orange compote (recipe above) in a saucepan with the cherries & shallots, simmer about 5 minutes. Take off heat, stir in vinegar and serve over the pork chops.
This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food magazine.