Peach compote is a simple and delicious dessert, made of whole or pieces of fruit in a light sugar syrup.
It is very easy to make and can be eaten as a simple dessert on its own, or it goes well with ice cream, with Greek yoghurt, served with crepes or pancakes, on top of puddings, etc.
It is much easier to make compotes than the other traditional Greek fruit preserves, which are called “spoon sweets” in Greece, as it is more complicated and takes much more time to make the spoon sweets, depending on the type of fruit used.
I was not planning to make any peach compote but one day a friend brought me two grates of peaches as a gift. Each crate must have been more than ten kilos!
Wow, that was a lot, considering that we are only the two of us now! Okay, I’ve put a lot in the fridge to eat raw for a couple of weeks and will surely use some to make a crumble, but still what would I do with the rest?
I emptied one of the crates in the sink and washed them well.
The first things that I made simultaneously, was peach compote and jam. I only have two large pots, which were full, so the next day, I made more compote. I’ve given some to my friend who gave me the peaches and some to some other friends.
I still have a lot left, so I still want to make some chutney and probably some sorbet or even some peach soup, as some of my friends suggested when I asked on Facebook what to do with them.
In order to peel the peaches, you can either use a knife or boil them for five minutes. When you can handle them the skin comes off quite easily. I then cut the slices around the stone into big chunks. The smaller pieces were put in the pot I was making the jam.
After washing the peaches, I heated water in the largest pot and blanched as many as would fit in the pot (2 1/2 kilos).
I reserved the ripest to make the jam and used those which were not very ripe to make the compote.
As the peaches were not very ripe, I had a hard time peeling them so for most of them I had to peel them with a knife.
Usually, if they are ripe enough and you put them in hot water for five minutes and the peel comes off quite easily. However, they make better compote if they are not ripe.
The end result was a perfect compote, so the next day when I made more, I skipped the stage of blanching them first and just peeled them with a knife.
There are probably many methods to make compote.
My method was to make the syrup first and then cook the peaches in that syrup. This way they don’t overcook and stay firm.
After cooking them for a while, I removed them in a colander while they were almost soft but not overcooked and, as the peaches release a lot of juices, I boiled the syrup again, so that it would set properly.
In the syrup you can add some spices to flavour it or scented geraniums or ginger. I love adding scented geranium leaves to flavour the syrup.
This time I opted not to add anything and let the natural flavour of the peaches flavour the syrup.
If you do not want to make large quantities in order to preserve the fruit for a long time, you can easily make it in a deep frying pan by just adding the fruit, some sugar, spices and just enough water to get the sugar wet and boil it for just a few minutes.
You can follow the instructions as in my post for Fruit Spreads or Sauces.
- 2,5 kilos peaches (or 2 kilos peeled and pitted)
- 1.5 kilos sugar
- 5 cups water
- ¼ cup peach juice
- 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) lemon juice
- Wash the peaches.
- Bring a large pot with water to boil and add the peaches. Boil for about 5 minutes. (You can skip this stage).
- Peel, remove the stone and cut them into smaller pieces.
- Put the sugar in another pot with the water as well as the peach juice and mix. Put it on the heat and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the syrup reaches 103o C.
- Add the peaches and cook until soft, for about 15 minutes.
- Skim the foam forming on top.
- Remove them in a colander to drain and put the leftover syrup back in the pot. Bring to a boil again and cook until the syrup thickens or reaches 105o C.
- Add the lemon juice and cook for 1 more minute.
- Store in clean, sterilized jars.
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Other relevant recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!