Fall Fruit Compote
As diverse as I am with my cooking experiments, I’m rather ho-hum when it comes to my week day breakfast routine. I have the same non-fat vanilla yogurt every single morning before heading out for the day. You’d think a person would get sick of this after, oh let’s say six years, but I don’t. At least not the yogurt part. I have found myself lately a bit bored with the vanilla flavor, and yet, I really don’t like the fruit flavors available in the store, mostly because the fruit really is just a shadow of itself thanks to over-processing.
Lately, I’ve started eating my morning bowl of yogurt with a generous spoonful of this Fall Fruit Compote swirled in, which has been a real wake up to my tired old routine. The flavor is immense. In fact, it’s a bit too strong when eaten by the spoonful (not that I’ve tried that or anything…) but it’s just right with the yogurt. It would also be smashing with a stack of pancakes, stuffed into French toast, or, for those of you who don’t eat breakfast (for shame!), warmed up and spooned over a savory meat dish. Oh, and let’s not forget ice cream!
This compote, unlike the processed fruits in yogurts, is full of simple goodness, capitalizing on the scrumptious qualities of locally grown pears, apples, and cranberries coupled with the spice of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean, and star anise. There’s very little sugar per serving to boot. My last batch kept in the fridge for two weeks in a sealed container so that I could get that big spoonful for breakfast each day in my hurried and sometimes harried rush to get out the door.
So, tell me, what’s your breakfast routine? Am I the only one that sticks with the same thing for years on end?
Fall Fruit Compote
A Straight from the Farm Original
1 large apple (Fuji or Jonagold work well)
3-4 ripe pears
1 t. lemon juice
1/2 C. fresh or frozen whole cranberries
1/2 C. water*
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 whole star anise
1 T. dark brown sugar
1 T. honey
* If you’d like a little more intensity to the fruit flavor, use apple cider instead of water.
Peel and core the apple, and dice into small pieces. Peel and core the pears and cut into large chunks (be sure to differentiate between the size of the apple and the pear pieces as the apple cooks slower than the pear and thus needs to be in smaller pieces). Toss apple and pear pieces with lemon juice in a medium saucepan over high heat.
Add the cranberries, water, vanilla bean, spices, sugar and honey. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow fruit to simmer for 20 minutes until soft. With a slotted spoon, fish out the vanilla pod and star anise. Use a potato masher or similar tool to mash up the fruit a bit more so it all blends together but still remains chunky.
Cook another 5-10 minutes until compote reaches your desired consistency (bear in mind that it will thicken up slightly after cooling down). Serve compote with breakfast foods; over a ham, turkey, or roasted vegetables; and on top of ice cream.
(makes about 1 1/2 cups)