Cherry-Orange Compote

September 5, 2007 | 43 Comments


A compote is one of our favourite cold-weather desserts. It’s simply fruit cooked down with sugar and flavourings. It warms you up inside without being immoral, illegal or fattening.

It can be served as a topping for desserts, toast, plain cake, waffles, or on its own. This basic recipe works for any fruit. Dried apricots, raisins, etc. can be added to the mixture after hydrating it in the liquid used for about an hour.

Compotes are a great way to use up an assortment of leftover fruit. You can eat a cup of compote in less than five minutes without even realising that you’ve eaten three whole peaches. It’s so delicious warm and scented with spices.

(In Eastern Europe – Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Lithuania, etc. – ‘compote’ has a slightly different meaning. It is used to describe a light refreshing drink most often made of dried fruit boiled in water with some sugar and left to cool and infuse.)


For 3 cups of chopped/pitted fruit. (One can leave the peels on apples, pears and stone fruit.)

1 to 1.5 cups of liquid depending on how much liquid the fruit contains
**water/wine/juice. we used orange juice
1 to 2 tablespoons of honey/maple syrup/sugar
**this is optional and depends on the tartness of the fruit
a tiny pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of Cognac or Grand Marnier
**this is optional, but recommended. This dish is suitable for children as the alcohol is simply for flavour and will burn off while cooking.
1 tsp of lemon juice
flavourings of choice
** grated ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, whatever you like. Powder the spices, or tie them in a muslin bag with kitchen twine and remove them in the end. We used 2 tsps orange zest.

Cook everything together on a medium flame for 15-20 minutes until the fruit is tender, but not entirely mushy. It should be spoonable and slightly more runny than jam.

If the fruit has reached the desired texture but is too runny, dissolve 2 tsps cornstarch in a tablespoon of liquid of choice, add it to the mixture, and bring it to a boil. This will thicken the mixture.

Serve it hot or cold with accompaniment of choice or on its own.

(A thicker, drier version of this recipe yields jam. Since we make small quantities, we do not use pectin. If you wish to make jam, reduce the liquid used to half a cup, and add some citrus pips tied up in a muslin bag with twine. They contain pectin. Or just cook it down until it reaches the consistency you desire.)

Cherry-Orange Compote with fruit – the way B likes it.

Cherry-Orange Compote with low-fat vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate curls – the way J likes it.

Or blend a tablespoon into your glass of low-fat soymlk, milk, or yogurt.

The Heart of the Matter blog aims to provide nutrition awareness pertaining to a heart-healthy lifestyle. They have a monthly event inviting recipes to promote this theme.

This month’s theme is Fruits and Berries, hosted by Ilva of the fabulous Lucullian Delights Cherry-Orange Compote is our entry for this event.

Filed Under: , , , , ,



  1. coffee says:

    I like J’s version of it! :)
    The red is the most wonderful red I have ever seen!!

  2. Looks like a meal by itself! Yumm! :cool:

  3. sreelu says:

    Yummo what a wonderway to eat berries, I like the way J likes it with icecream and choclate shavings

  4. Madhuli says:

    wow nice to see you back
    i love b’s as well as j’s way of having compote :) . thanks for this going to try it soon.

  5. My friend a malayali christian is an expert in this. I did’nt know it is called compote! Once while travelling together we had this with Yogurt! A very tasty preparation! All your pictures are tempting! :nono: :laugh:

  6. meera says:

    wow,simple and yummy!! thanks:)

  7. Srivalli says:

    wow..tempting pictures..I love the way preferred by J :tongue:

  8. Nags says:

    how? how? how?

    how do you take some awesome pics and get these wonderful ideas to blog about!

    i am feeling self-conscious now, with my chutneys and my stupid dosas!!

    stop. stop. stop right there. send me those chutneys and dosas any day! will eat them for B, L & D :) -jai

  9. lakshmi says:

    i have to try this asap – will make my version of compote and post soon. thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.

  10. Santhi says:

    :hammer: for tempting unsuspecting visitors like me :tongue:

  11. Priya says:

    Love this recipe…I did not know its called compote…but made it with strawberries a couple of times. And I would take J’s bowl any day…chocolate can never go wrong …( I miss the drool icon, how can a food blog not have one :hmm:)

  12. Nirmala says:

    So you guys were back from vacation…mmm I really missed you! no colorful posts since 4 days :( Great to see you back with this yummy campote! Wonderful pics too asusual! I like J’s version with choco curls. looks marvellous.

  13. ilva says:

    This is wonderful and the photos are really gorgeous! I’m really in the mood for this type of sweets right now. Thanks for participating!

  14. Suganya says:

    I love clove and cranberry combo. Compotes I have known are very simple, or shud I say bland. I like yr version. But cooler weather is no where near. Temp still in 100s.

  15. Rachna says:

    haaww, my comment got gobbled up…

    i was saying… love jay’s version… and i love the way odd fruts get used up like this…yummmmy :secret: :tongue: :yes: (yah where is the ‘yum’ ‘drool’ icon)

  16. Raaga says:

    I call it stew :-) you give it a fancy name now… without even as much as asking :D

  17. sia says:

    give me J’s plate :devil:

  18. Anjali says:

    B I’ll have it with a slice of cake and both yours and J’s plate put together. I love~~~ compote by whatever name you call it.

  19. shammi says:

    ahhh… do I love those photos or do I love those photos!!! I think I’d go with Jay’s version :)

  20. Jyothsna says:

    Nice one. I’ll take J’s bowl. Will try this soon.

  21. indosungod says:

    Looks lovely, with the icecream I feel like :D :D

  22. Asha says:

    Beautiful photos. Love the Compote too!:))

  23. sandeepa says:

    Till this day compote reminded me of compost always….no longer :) It is so very pretty

  24. Mishmash! says:

    I liked J’s combo !! Usually I dont crave for desserts much but now I am !!

  25. richa says:

    yooohoo! perfect timing, need to make mine with peaches :D
    what spice do u think will work best?

    saffron? – b.

  26. rahin says:

    hey the chocolate shavings n compote combination looks yummy …

  27. Jyothi says:

    Great and yummy recipe. Looks colorful and wonderful. Thanks for sharing. :yes: :dance:

  28. Madhu says:

    Love both the plates..yummy.

  29. bhags says:

    The compote looks inviting, I like the ice cream pic, looks wonderful with it…

  30. TC says:

    I sound like a broken record everytime I visit. So from now now on,
    # = fantastic photos
    * = loved the recipe.
    So, to save some real estate in the comments section:
    #! *.
    (the exclamation mark and the fullstop have the same meaning).

  31. musical says:

    i only knew the way Russians make it (like the fruity drink you mentioned). Both versions in this post look equally delightful!

  32. Latha says:

    Looks yumm guys! Can’t makeup my mind on whether i like B’s bowl or J’s? :hmm:

  33. Mansi says:

    J’s version rocks!!! :yes:

    man, I wouldn’t stop eating at all if this thing is placed in front of me…what an excellent fruit topping!! ;)

  34. Cynthia says:

    Decadent! Love any compote.

  35. Laavanya says:

    I can barely take my eyes of the cherries – so so pretty :love:
    That’s a nice combination – cherries with orange.. yummy.

  36. Rajitha says:

    beautiful color and fantastic presentation

  37. Linda says:

    Beautiful cherries are making me homesick for MI :) :(

  38. Padma says:

    Lovely looking Compote,I donno how to pronouce, may be same like compute? :tongue: :tongue:

    Love that blood red color of the cherries….ummmhhaa! ;)

  39. shalini says:

    WOW , lovely…. I got so inspired that I went and bought the ingredients right away. Its cooking right now- with peaches, one apple, maple syrup and cinnamon. I also have a cranberry-ornage cake in the oven to go with it. I am planning to have a royal dessert tonight. Its smelling divine… will let you know how its turns out. Thanks and keep up the good work!!!!

  40. viji says:

    Lovely photos and recipe Bee. My favorite too. But we get only black cherries here. Viji

  41. shalini says:

    Hi Bee and J, It turned out good, except that it was too sour…maybe I put in too much ornage juice. But I still loved the concept and will keep try try again till I succeed. Thanks a lot!!

    can you add in some honey/maple syrup to fix that? glad you liked the concept. – b.

  42. richa says:

    bee, i made the peach compote & it turned out yum :D
    goes so well w vanilla icecream!
    i just used peach, oj, sugar & saffron, worked well.
    i shud hv made this earlier, got to make it towards the end of the season.
    thanks sweetie!

rss email

  • Archives

  • Categories