But I don’t WANT to make a pie… too much effort! It’s too hot! Every excuse is available but the fruits of the summer are upon us and it is time to get our kitchens humming. Yep, it’s rhubarb and strawberry time here at Pistachio House Northwest, finally! The sun is coming out, the weather is warming up and my life is returning to blogging normality again. My humble thanks to Jason for keeping you all drooling with his beautiful food. He’s truly a wonder.
I have another post in the wings getting caught up on life but for now, I wanted to give you all a quick n’dirty thang to make in your slow cooker while you’re out weeding in the garden (or chasing chickens or just lazing around with a cuppa). This is ideal for a Saturday or Sunday when you can walk away from the kitchen for a few hours.
Compote is my summer friend.
It’s a compote. What’s a compote? It’s a cooked multi-fruit dessert that’s usually created in a simple syrup and is slow cooked to break down the components of the fruit. It can be served warmed or chilled. Why is this not jam, or jelly, or a syrup? Simple answer is: Compotes are made from cut or crushed fruits cooked with water and only a little bit of sugar, which is why they cannot be stored for very long. Moving right along…
Fruit compote is for those days when you don’t have the wherewithal to make a pie but have fruit a-plenty and need to get something done with it before it all molds (don’t tell me this doesn’t happen to you, it does, admit it). It takes very few ingredients and only the smallest portion of your brain.
The best thing about compote is that you can use it in a number of ways, like:
- over ice cream,
- dolloped in lemonade,
- over shortcake,
- plain with some whipped cream,
or you can just put it out with brunch on Sunday to smear on toast. It’s better than jam, because it takes zero effort to do in a slow cooker. You can bring it to a potluck and not offend vegetarians or vegans, and if you are so inclined, the whole thing can be done organically. Plus, when you’re done and you still haven’t eaten it, you can freeze it or smear it on a plexi and dry it in your dehydrator for fruit leather.
Experiment a little with different fruits, the basic premise is, about six or seven cups of fruit plus one cup of sugar, a half a cup of water and a squeeze of lemon will make a good compote. Play with the ratios depending upon how much fruit you have. Remember to cook the harder fruit longer and the softer fruit can be added later. Hard fruits are, for example, apple, pear, and rhubarb.
Slow Cooker Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote
Yields: 6 cups
- 1 lb rhubarb cut into 1.5 inch chunks (about four cups)
- 2 pints strawberries cut in half or left whole depending on how large they are (about 2-3 cups)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Put cup up rhubarb, water and sugar into the crockpot. Set crockpot to low. Let cook for 3-4 hours.
- Turn off crockpot.
- Smash rhubarb with the back of a spoon or fork until they no longer resemble chunks and look more like lumpy jam.
- Add strawberries and lemon juice. Stir.
- Serve warm or cold.
“Try it. It’s good!”