I had a moment of real disappointment last summer when I bought a pint of beautiful, fuzzy, lovely peaches at the grocery store only to take them home and find them rock hard. Yes, probably my fault for not checking them before I bought them. But I cringe at smushing fruit in the grocery store out of fear of buying pre-smushed produce.
I read a lot of guides about ripening fruit on the counter but frankly, I was dealing with a fruit fly situation and leaving out a whole pint of peaches seemed like making a terrible offering to the flies. So I kept them in the fridge and put on my thinking cap, and came up with an obvious method for using them up: a compote!
Compote is basically just a poached fruit in syrup, so it?s actually really simple and delicious. The cooking process breaks down the sugars in the unripe peaches to make them perfectly edible. Now I?m not talking about immature fruits – just ones that still need a few days to be soft enough to bite into. You could also do this recipe with actual ripe peaches, but I?d probably omit the sugar unless you taste it and want it a little sweeter.
I really liked eating this in a crepe, but it could be wonderful in so many ways – on ice cream, mixed in with other fruits, on oatmeal or some other kind of bowl.
Sweet Peach Compote
A sweet and syrupy compote made from peaches and spiced with cinnamon.
- 8-10 peaches
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Peel the peaches and dice them. Discard the skins and the pits.
In a saucepan, add the peaches and all the ingredients. You can add a few tablespoons of water to let the peaches steam, it?ll evaporate away afterwards.
The key to this is a long time over low-medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure that the peaches don?t overcook. Soon they should start getting syrupy, and ensure that this syrup does not burn by keeping an eye on it.
Once the peaches are soft, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Put into a jar and store in the fridge, and you?re good to go!
If you prefer, you can throw in a cinnamon stick instead of the powdered cinnamon.
This compote is good either hot or cold. You can experiment with more spices if you like – ginger would be an awesome addition!