Growing up, there was always a pitcher of homemade compote in the fridge. I think of it as the Polish alternative to juice. It tastes fresher, less sweet, and the liquid is a bit thicker, reminiscent of the syrup you find canned fruit suspended in. It is perfect year round, and so easy to adjust for whatever fruits are in season or you happen to have on hand. Feel free to change the proportions below, using less sugar when you use sweeter fruit, and more if the fruit is tart. And by all means, adding some dried fruit or raisins is more than acceptable.
This recipe is so malleable, that I’m not sure I need to say any more than dump some fruit and sugar in a pot, cover with water, boil, cool, and enjoy! But I know that despite the fact that my mother’s approach to cooking does not involve using recipes (how she commits so many recipes to memory is beyond me), I should probably convey a little more information to you. I know I’m glad to have this recipe committed to cyber-paper so I can forever have it in my repertoire.
From Mommy’s Kitchen
2 apples, cored, peeled, and cut into wedges
3/4 cup cranberries
fresh lemon peel (from about 1/4 of a lemon)
6 heaping teaspoons sugar
1 quart water
Place all ingredients in a saucepan, and give a quick stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool (preferably on a window sill, to allow for easier reminiscing about the Old Country).
Once the compote has stopped steaming, place in a pitcher and refrigerate. Enjoy at any time, and don’t forget to eat the fruit as well!