Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote (with a Couple of Secret Ingredients) {Recipe}

In this spirit of having posted the image above on the faceplace earlier today, I shall keep this short and sweet:

Strawberry-rhubarb compote is fantastic. It’s dead easy to make, you can put it on a million things and it freezes well so you can have a little bit of summertime in the dead of winter.

My recipe uses very little sugar, making it ideal for sweet and savoury applications. It also employs cardamom to give it a little sophistication, triple sec for a pop of bright citrus and butter for a more unctuous mouthfeel.

Put it on ice cream, cheesecake, grilled pork or lamb, or a toasted baguette with a healthy hunk of brie. It’s great with so much.

What you need:

  • 4 cups rhubarb, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups strawberries, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • peel of one orange
  • juice of one orange
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 jiggers (3 oz/90 ml) triple sec (or Cointreau or brandy, should you like to get fancy)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp butter

What you do:

  1. To a large pot over medium heat, add the rhubarb, strawberries, cardamom, sugar, orange peel, orange juice and salt. Cook this, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb and strawberries are fork tender and there is lots of liquid in the pot, about 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, make a slurry by slowly stirring the triple sec into the corn starch. To this, add the vanilla and then pour the slurry into the pot once the rhubarb and strawberries have softened.
  3. Taste test and add sugar, if desired (I like mine quite tart).
  4. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the compote has thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Kill the heat and stir in the butter.
  6. Serve hot or cold in the ways listed above or however your imagination suggests!
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