Every gluten free, sugar free cook should have a good compote recipe in her back pocket. They’re simple to make, versatile, and delicious. A make-ahead dish, compotes can stand on their own but also pair well with slightly softened ice cream, fresh whipped cream, or a slice of cake.
Modifying for No Sugar Added
I found this recipe in the January 2010 edition of Good Housekeeping and put it in my “to modify” pile. Traditionally compotes are cooked in a sugary syrup but I thought I’d try this SS&GF style with no sugar added. Dried fruits are sweet to begin with so I was confident I could skip the alternative sweeteners. When the compote was finished cooking and cooling, though, the sauce wasn’t syrupy or sweet enough for me. So, I strained the fruit in a fine mesh sieve and reduced the sauce by half.
The result? A perfectly syrupy sauce with no sugar added.
The wintery flavors in this compote are complex and delightful – the brightness of the orange, the hint of licorice from the star anise, and an undertone of cinnamon with the individual fruit flavors still shining through. In fact, I’m eating some on top of vanilla bean ice cream right now. Comfort food at it’s best.
What are some of your favorite comfort foods in the winter?
I’m teaching a cooking class in Plano, TX on February 8th! If you’re in Dallas I’d love for you to attend. It’s very affordable and according to the website there are only 3 spots left in the class. I am pleasantly surprised (ok – totally shocked – I think it’s a mistake. Just sent an e-mail verify this…) I’ll keep you updated. You can find all the information here at the City of Plano’s website.
A huge thank you to everyone who takes the time to come back and tell me about the results of cooking my recipes. It’s been so helpful and has brought me a lot of joy.
Lots of give-aways are lined up over the next month or so. Monday is the big kick-off. One lucky reader will win a $50 shopping spree to iHerb.com. I got a shopping spree of my very own and had the best time. Make sure to check in next week to find out how you can win one, too.
A reader sent me an e-mail and I accidentally deleted it. If you e-mailed me and haven’t heard back, can you shoot it my way again? I tried to recover it but the message is lost in cyberspace. I’m sorry!
I’ve been invited to join in the Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party which takes place next week. It’s hosted by Diane of The Whole Gang. This month’s theme is Light Winter Warmers – soups, stews, and maybe even some warm winter drinks without all the calories. Another great reason to check in on Monday – I’ll have the details for you then.
Visit The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter for more cooking ideas.
Serves: 3½ - 4 cups
- 1 – 2 navel oranges
- 1¾ cups filtered water
- ½ of a cinnamon stick
- ½ of a star anise
- 1 large Gala apple
- 1 large ripe D’anjou or Bartlett pear
- ½ cup dried Calimyrna figs, quartered
- ½ cup prunes
- 2 tablespoons dried bing cherries
- Using a swivel peeler, cut 2 strips of orange peel from the orange and squeeze ⅓ cup of juice from the oranges. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine water, cinnamon, star anise, and orange peel. (The size is important – if you use too big of a saucepan, the fruit won’t be covered by the sauce and it won’t cook evenly.) Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. While sauce is cooking, peel and core apple and pear. Slice ¼ inch thick.
- Stir figs, prunes, and cherries into sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Add apples and simmer for 3 -4 minutes, then add pears for the last 2 minutes. Apples and pears should be al dente – they will continue to cook as the compote cools. Stir in orange juice, cover, and let cool for 20 minutes. Strain compote through a fine mesh strainer catching juice. Return juice to pan, bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes until juice has thickened and is syrupy. Let syrup cool. Pour on top of fruit and serve, or cover and chill.