I have really been enjoying a new-to-me book recently: Preserving Food without Canning or Freezing. It discusses how to use sugar, salt, alcohol, oil, etc to preserve food. These are truly efficient and low cost methods from ye olden days. One of the highlights of how this book is written is that it’s not just one author’s list of recipes. Instead the author requested recipes, via a kind of gardening club magazine, for preserving things from people all over Europe. The resulting submitted recipes are printed in the submitter's own voice. There are literally recipes for preserving 70 lbs of cabbage from the Ukraine, fermented tomato paste balls from Italy, and much more.
This recipe isn’t from the book per se, but compote does use sugar as a preservative. I always thought canning was necessary but it turns out that isn’t always the case.
I love compote because it’s a great way to use fruit that you know you won’t have time to eat before it goes bad.
Did I mention that blueberry vanilla compote goes really well with baguette & goat cheese?
The vanilla rounds out the flavor, while the lemon zest perks it up and saves it from being cloying. We’ve got many more ideas on how to enjoy it up our sleeves, as well…
Blueberry Vanilla Compote
adapted from Kitchen Confidante
Combine the blueberries, apple juice, and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer gently for 15 minutes or so. The longer you simmer, the thicker and more jam like the final product will be. When the compote is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, stir in the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Remove from the heat, spoon into jars, and store in the refrigerator. These will last a minimum of one month, but due to the preservative effects of sugar, it will mostly likely last for up to 6 months.
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest & juice of 1 lemon
Yield: about 2 cups of compote.