Looking for a simple dessert? It doesn’t get easier than fruit compote over vanilla ice cream. Compote is fresh, saucy and sweet, and ready in as little as 15 minutes.
You can make compote ahead of time and warm it up or throw it onto the stove after dinner. Serve it on ice cream for dessert, yogurt or toast the next morning, or anything else that could use some fruity flavor. You really can’t go wrong.
What is compote, exactly? Compote is a simple fruit sauce made with pieces of fresh (or frozen) fruit and some sugar, cooked briefly on the stove. You could call the end result a textured fruit sauce or chunky fruit syrup. I call it magic.
Instead of sugar, I use a small amount of maple syrup or honey to make naturally sweetened compote. Since it’s liquid, you can easily add more to taste after cooking if your compote isn’t quite sweet enough.
Compote is not as thick as jam or jelly, and it’s meant to be consumed relatively soon after making (it will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator). It’s not designed to be canned or preserved for the months or years ahead. Compote is so easy to make that you can throw together a batch at a moment’s notice!
Compote fruit options
I’ve used a few of my favorites in these photos (I made separate batches of strawberry, blueberry and peach compote). Here’s a more extensive list of fruit you can use to make compote:
- Blackberries (keep mind there will be seeds in the finished product)
- Apples (technically applesauce)
- Cranberries (here’s my cranberry sauce recipe)
- Or any combination of the above, like a frozen berry blend
Can I make compote with frozen fruit?
Yes, you can! Frozen fruit is a great option for compote because it does’t need any advance preparation (like peeling or slicing) and it naturally develops a soft, jammy texture as it warms up.
No need to defrost frozen fruit before adding them to the pot. Your mixture will take a few extra minutes to come to a boil, but the final product should be just as good.
Uses for compote
You can think of compote like jam or jelly (but better). Serve it over:
- Ice cream
- Toast with almond butter or cream cheese
- French toast
- Pudding (including chia pudding)
- Oatmeal (including steel-cut oatmeal and overnight oats)
- Cheese and crackers or crostini (perfect for impromptu get-togethers)
In my cookbook, I made sundaes with strawberry balsamic compote, vanilla ice cream, and chopped nuts. How do you like to serve it?
Totally optional extra flavoring ideas
This fruit compote is so good in its most basic form, truly. If you want to add some extra complexity, though, try any of the following. The list gets a little crazier as it goes on.
- Lemon zest or orange zest (1/4 teaspoon added before cooking)
- Ground cinnamon or ginger (1/4 teaspoon added before cooking)
- Vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon added after cooking)
- Balsamic vinegar (1 to 2 teaspoons added after cooking)
- Lemon juice or orange juice (1 to 2 tablespoons added after cooking)
- Fresh mint or basil leaves (add after cooking)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste, add after cooking)
Please let me know how you like this compote and how you use it in the comments! I’m always so eager to hear how my recipes turn out for you.
Easy Fruit Compote
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups
- Category: Dessert, sauce
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Classic
Learn how to make fruit compote with this easy recipe! You can make compote with fresh or frozen fruit. It’s delicious on ice cream, yogurt, toast, pancakes, waffles and more! Recipe yields about 2 cups compote.
- 1 pound (16 ounces) fresh or frozen fruit (for the photos, I used fresh strawberries, peaches, and frozen blueberries)
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- Dash of salt
- See optional flavoring ideas given above recipe
- To prepare the fruit: If you’re using fresh strawberries or peaches, cut them into thin slices. If you’re using small berries like blueberries or raspberries, you can use them whole. If you’re using frozen fruit, no need to defrost or slice them before using.
- In a medium saucepan, combine your fruit of choice, sweetener of choice and dash of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. This will take about 5 minutes for fresh fruit or 10 minutes for frozen fruit.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium. If you’re using chunky fruit or prefer a smoother consistency, mash the fruit with a potato masher or serving fork until it reaches your desired consistency. Continue simmering, stirring often, until the compote has condensed to about half of its original volume, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the compote from the heat. I’m generally satisfied with my compote at this point, but if the compote isn’t sweet enough for your liking, you can stir in a more sweetener, to taste. If you’d like it to be more smooth, mash it some more.
- Let the compote cool for a few minutes before serving. Allow leftover compote to cool completely before covering and refrigerating for up to 10 days.
Make it vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey, and serve with vegan accompaniments.