Making desserts is a popular evening or weekend activity for many in Australia. Fruit desserts are especially popular, especially when using fruit that is currently in season and readily available. When home cooks are asked whether they will be using fresh or preserved fruit, there is a likelihood that many will insist on using fresh fruit. After all, isn’t that the tastier, healthier and easier option? Why would anyone use preserved fruit? While some situations require cooks to use fresh fruit, there are times when using preserved forms such as compote is the smarter option.
1. When you need an intense flavour hit
Compote is a traditional French dessert, made by boiling fruit and sugar in a pot. As the compote cooks, the mixture softens but the individual fruit pieces will remain solid. The result of slow cooking the fruit over heat results in an intense flavour that you cannot get when using fresh fruit. Add a spoonful of compote in your morning smoothie for that extra flavour burst.
2. When you want a dessert that can stand on its own
You can serve fresh fruit on its own for dessert, but you will struggle to elicit reactions of awe from your guests. If simplicity is the theme you are going for, you can serve compote on its own in an elegant dessert bowl. Additionally, compote is versatile enough to act as a topper on porridges and cakes you can even make your own ice cream from scratch using whipped cream, condensed milk and compote.
3. When your preferred fruit isn’t in season
Fruits come and go according to seasons. If you are keen to make a raspberry dessert in winter, you will struggle to find fresh raspberries at the market. Conversely, adding stewed mango to your morning yoghurt pot would be impossible in summer as you won’t be able to easily find mango at the supermarket. Because compote is a form of preserved fruit, it can be stored safely for months. The Barker’s of NZ range of compote easily covers all seasons and include the following fresh flavours:
- Mixed berry
- Strawberry and apple
- Tropical fruit
Not only can they be enjoyed all year round, they can be easily stored in the fridge after opening.
4. When a shortcut is necessary
When you’re making a dessert that requires a filling, you will need to factor in extra time to make the filling. In particular, fruit fillings require you to cook the fruit, adding unnecessary additional time to the process. Using a ready-made – or store bought – compote reduces cooking time dramatically so you can be well prepared when making desserts such as tropical white chocolates and tropical lattice tarts.