Anyone for compôte?

It’s August and apricots and berries are in abundance. 

Today, I picked up a bag of apricots from the West End Farmers’ Market.  I’ve only ever used dried apricots in cooking, so I needed to consult some cookbooks for ideas….

In “A French Woman for All Seasons”, Mireille Guilano, explains that “cooked preparations concentrate the flavors and the natural sugars” (p.133).

Guiliano’s Baked Apricots combine vanilla, dry vermouth and honey.

In “Breakfast, Lunch, Tea”, the cookbook of over 100 recipes from the famed Rose Bakery, in Paris, Rose Carririani explains: “apricots are my favourite fruit but unfortunately they are rarely luscious as they are supposed to be.  To get them anywhere near that, we poach them gently in a sugar syrup infused with vanilla.  Having all the ingredients, I followed this simple recipe which combines caster sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean, apricots and blueberries.  I’ve only had a little sample – and it is delicious.

Vanilla bean isn’t essential to making a compôte and it is an expensive ingredient.  In Ginette Mathiot’s “I Know How to Cook” details how to make a long thread sugar syrup to make a delicous compote from sugar, apricots and water.  It also provides an abundance of ideas: poaching, compôtes, and fruit omelets, as well as preserving by drying, alcohol and syrup.

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Categories: Apricots, August, Blueberries

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One Comment on “Anyone for compôte?”

  1. August 7, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    yey! Great to see your site up and running, and to see that you are emerged in new and inspiring cooking adventures.. I look forward to reading more… Let me know if you need someone to help you taste those concoctions – yumm! 🙂

    – Karin (from writing class)

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