This compote is a mixture of berries briefly cooked in a simple syrup. It's a step short of a sauce or topping. It has a wonderful berry juice and lots of flavor but is not overly sweet (though you can adjust the sweetness to your taste). A lighter topping for waffles, pancakes, yogurt, ice cream, and oatmeal. Keep it for a week in the refrigerator or freeze it.
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When you need a lighter fruit topping, a compote is your answer.
Use it on buttermilk pancakes and let them soak up the berry juice, waffles, or shortcake. Compote recipes used as toppings are great if you want a nutritious healthy breakfast as they're lower in sugar than sauces. Use it with yogurt and granola, baked oatmeal, or porridge.
About this recipe
- Fast & easy: it's a very simple recipe that comes together in 10 minutes.
- Keeps well: you can store it for a week or maybe two in an airtight container. After that, you can freeze it for a month.
- Lighter sauce: it's the perfect choice when you want a lighter and more fluid (less sugar and no cornstarch) sauce with your breakfast dishes.
- Berry mixture: as long as you respect the total amount specified in the recipe card, you can combine berries however you want when it comes to the amount and type of each that you want and whether they're fresh or frozen. It's a great way to use up leftover berries you might have in the freezer.
- Berries: fresh summer berries are my first choice when available, but you can use frozen mixed berries or a combination. I like blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, but other wild types of berries work really well. As do cherries. In short, use your favorite berries (that can also include fresh strawberries, though I don't mix them).
- Sugar: use regular white, granulated sugar (as shown below) or brown sugar, coconut sugar, organic, muscovado sugar, any type works really. Keep in mind that they sweeten differently so you might want to increase or decrease the amount depending on the type you use.
How to make a compote
It's very, very easy and takes 10 minutes.
- Start with a simple syrup: this means that you need to heat sugar and water in a saucepan until it comes to a boil (image 1).
- Add the berries: whether you're using fresh, frozen, or a mix, berries are added all at once to the syrup. Stir a few times until they come to a simmer (image 2). We don't want to boil them rapidly so they don't disintegrate.
- Reducing the berry syrup: if you like a more concentrated juice, transfer the cooked fruit to a large bowl (image 3) and let the red syrup reduce for a few minutes to thicken (image 4).
- Let mixture cool down: the reduced syrup is added to the fruit in the bowl (image 5) and then refrigerated or used once it cools.
- Organization: read the recipe first and make sure you have ingredients at the right temperatures, equipment needed, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
- Amount of sugar: adjust it depending on your sweet tooth. Add or remove 1-2 tablespoons of sugar from the total amount. But a fruit compote recipe uses less sugar than a jam or thick topping with cornstarch.
- Amount of liquid: the compote might be too thick after a stay in the fridge or freezer. Simply add a bit of water at a time until you have the desired consistency. Keep in mind that the sweetness will be diluted a little with each addition. Or make a simple syrup (cook ½ cup of water with 2 tablespoons of sugar over medium heat until it boils) and add it to the compote.
- Storing: keep the compote refrigerated in an airtight container or a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap. It keeps for a week. Or freeze it for a month (in a safe container) and let it come to room temperature before using it.
- Uses: this simple mixed berry compote recipe is lighter than a regular sauce. Easy recipes like this one are a perfect topping for breakfast food. Waffles, pancakes, porridge or baked oatmeal, chia pudding, french toast, granola with plain yogurt, or even vanilla ice cream. Build a more elegant dessert by topping a pound cake or angel food cake slice with a dollop of whipped cream with this simple sauce. Or let it drip down a cheesecake serving.
- Other sweeteners: you can add honey or pure maple syrup (or another sugar syrup) to the saucepan with the berries and the water.
- Flavorings: citrus can be used to flavor this easy fruit compote recipe. Add some orange zest or lemon zest at the beginning and/or a few drops of vanilla extract (or orange liqueur for a more sophisticated flavor). Use orange juice instead of water; half lemon juice and half water for a sharper flavor. A little ground cinnamon or ginger goes well with it too.
- Other berries: check out the recipes for homemade strawberry compote and easy blueberry compote.
Related recipes you might like:
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- 1 pound mixed berries, fresh or frozen without thawing (I use blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
- 3 tablespoons sugar (see Notes if you like it sweeter)
- 3 tablespoons water (see Notes if you want to add lemon juice)
- Wash the fresh berries if using and reserve, no need to dry them. Have ready frozen berries if using.
- Put the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, and lower the heat.
- Add the mixed berry mix and stir lightly to coat in the syrup.
- Cook on low heat until it comes to a slow simmer stirring a few times until the liquid starts to thicken and the berries soften slightly. You can cook them more or less depending on how soft or not you want the berries. Being small and watery, they do soften quickly.
- Transfer the fruit to a bowl leaving the syrup in the saucepan. Using a skimmer or fine mesh colander for this step makes it very easy.
- Cook the juice a minute or two more so it thickens further and add it to the fruit.
- Let the mixture cool down completely and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container or glass jar before refrigerating it. It lasts a couple of weeks in the refrigerator and a month in the freezer.
- Use it cold, at room temperature, or warm, it's really up to you depending on what you serve it with.
Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Amount of sugar: it can be adjusted depending on how sweet you want the finished sauce by adding a few extra tablespoons of sugar. But a fruit compote recipe uses less sugar than a jam or thick topping with cornstarch.
Amount of liquid: if you find that after a stay in the fridge or freezer the liquid in the compote is less than you want, simply add a bit of water at a time until you have the desired consistency. Keep in mind that the sweetness will be diluted a little with each addition. Another way of adding extra liquid is to make a simple syrup with half a cup of water and 2 tablespoons of sugar (cook over medium heat until it boils) and add it to the compote you already made.
Lemon juice: most compotes use lemon juice as part of the liquid, in addition to the water. I don't use it for this one because I find that the mix of berries creates a great flavor, both sweet and acid. But you can add 1 tablespoon when adding the berries. You might want an extra tablespoon of sugar also to balance it out.
Storing: keep the compote refrigerated in an airtight container or a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap. You can also freeze it for a month (in a safe container) and let it come to room temperature before using it.
Uses: this simple mixed berry compote recipe is lighter than a regular sauce. And one of those easy recipes that's the perfect topping for breakfast food like waffles, pancakes, porridge or baked oatmeal (my favorite way), chia pudding, french toast, granola and plain yogurt, and also for desserts like vanilla ice cream, pound cake or angel food cake slice with a dollop of whipped cream, or even cheesecake.
Other sweeteners: if you don't want to use sugar, you can add honey or pure maple syrup or some other type of sugar syrup you like to the saucepan with the berries and the water.
Flavorings: citrus juice can be used to flavor this homemade berry compote recipe. Add some orange zest or lemon zest at the beginning and/or a few drops of vanilla extract (or orange liqueur for a more sophisticated flavor). Use orange juice instead of water. A little ground cinnamon or ginger goes well with it too.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Sauces
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: ⅙
- Calories: 62
- Sugar: 11.1 g
- Sodium: 0.8 mg
- Fat: 0.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 15.3 g
- Protein: 0.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Mixed berry compote