Monday, August 10, 2009

Cardamom Plum Compote

Mmm... wild red plums. We came across several baskets of these at our local farmers' market over the weekend. It almost seems like a crime to eat these precious little gems in any form other than the way nature intended- fresh and unadulterated; however, we found ourselves driving home from the market with more plums than we could possibly eat before they spoiled. What can I say? I have no self control.

Instead of letting my bounty go to waste, I threw together a quick compote, because really, there's never any good reason to throw away fruit. They're incredibly easy to throw together, they're a great way to use up excess fruit, and they're about the most versatile thing you'll ever make. They're fun to experiment with, and it's hard to go wrong: strawberries and red wine, peaches and ginger, or just raspberry with a hit of lemon. Berries and stone fruits work wonderfully, and you can it on anything from vanilla ice cream to lemon cake. I generally use 10 parts fruit to 1 part sugar, though that will vary based upon the sweetness of your fruit. I like to keep mine on the tart side since I usually use them to compliment a sweeter dessert. At any rate, I love keeping compotes on hand, because nothing takes dessert to the next level like a spoonful of this stuff.

Cardamom Plum Compote

This makes a small amount of compote, enough for 4-6 people.

Eight to ten small wild red plums, cut into smallish chunks
Sugar, to taste
One generous pinch of cardamom
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Heat fruit and sugar in a small saucepan until the fruit gives off liquid. Add cardamom, simmer 5-10 minutes until enough liquid has evaporated and compote has thickened. Stir in vanilla, adjust sugar (if needed), and simmer another minute. Let cool.


  1. This looks super delicious! I can't wait for you to join my cookie challenge. It's always good to have a partner in crime;)

  2. You make your own extracts??? How do you do that? I have made my own vanilla before, but never extracts. I would be interested in learning your recipe:) Email me at nutmegnanny (at) hotmail (dot) com if you don't mind sharing:)

  3. -.o ..... o.-

    That's me, giving you the squinty eye of dubiousness... and then changing sides.

    Compote seems... way too easy. That's all there is to it??? Why have I never done this before??

    On another note, it warms my insides thinking that your cardamom is probably the cardamom you got with me! And that some of it went into MY tummy! =P

    Aw, now I miss you again.

    (By the way, I am TOTALLY making that whole wheat pizza w/purple potatoes over on Irene's page, now that I know where to get some purple potatoes! o.~)

  4. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices with fruit; it has such a mellow, subtle presence. Your compote sounds delicious - kudos for putting those plums to such good use!

  5. Oh my Nicole, this cardamom sure will add a nice flavor and and wonderful fragrant tot it. Yumm!