Plum Compote

Don't let the plums rot at the foot of the tree!

The branches are hanging heavy with them again in my back yard.  We’ve got two trees with different types of plums: one with the type that prunes are made of and the other with a larger-sized variety. Both produce a wonderful sweet fruit with a consistency perfect for making all kinds of desserts and other dishes (search for the other plum recipes in this blog).

“Go and pick the plums!” I’m always pleading with the children when they return home from school. Everyone knows that it’s not good for the tree if the plums are left to rot at its base. With a couple of budding teenagers on my hands, however, I need to be realistic about how many plums they are going to pick for me (zero).

Today seems a perfect day for standing under the shower of branches heavily laden with fruit and filling a bucket. Still, I’ve got many things to pack in on this ‘free’ day of mine so I don’t want to be standing at the hearth for hours making something complex with them.

As our existence becomes more sedentary into the cool season, I’m equipping the family to stay fit, get their vitamins and keep the digestion in good trim. There’s barely anything that beats plum compote at this time of year. It just seems made for the season and it’s so versatile. You can serve it for breakfast, enjoy it as a light snack or serve it as a dessert with yogurt, ice cream, whipped cream or rice pudding. As soon as I’ve made it, it’s gone and that is the sign of a great recipe!

Here’s how to make it although you can vary the spices according to your preferences. Some options are named in the recipe, below.

Plum Compote

Fresh, rinsed plums with pits removed
Cinnamon stick

A note about pitting the plums: You don’t need to be particular about keeping the plums whole when you pit them. Just get as much plum as you can into a cooking pot. Fill the pot with enough water so that it barely covers the plums. Add 2 tbsps of sugar and a cinnamon stick. Cover and allow to simmer on low heat for 1o minutes. Avoid hard boiling. Taste. Adjust sugar to taste and remove cinnamon stick. Cook another 5 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Ginger, star aniseed, vanilla pod, lemon or orange rind.

One of the enjoyable features of plum compote is its attractive pink color. It is as much food for the eye as for the palate.

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