Sweet, Simple and Versatile
- Servings: Makes about 2 cups.
Rhubarb compote is a mixture of pieces of rhubarb and sugar that is cooked over a low heat until the pieces become soft and jam-like. Cooked with sugar and optional flavorings such as citrus zest or a little port or liqueur, the rhubarb's tart flavor becomes sweetened and more mellow.
The color of the compote will be that of the rhubarb you use -- the more red the stalks, the more red the finished compote.
Adjust the amount of sugar you use to make the compote more sweet or tangy.
Similar to how cranberry sauce is used with roast turkey, rhubarb compote is a wonderful compliment to duck or goose or slices of roast pork. Because it's sweet, this compote is delicious when spooned as a warm sauce over ice cream (think about rhubarb compote on strawberry ice cream), chilled and mixed with sweetened whipped cream to create a Rhubarb Fool, or as a side to a slice of plain pound cake. I also love it mixed in with my breakfast plain Greek yogurt.
- 6 cups rhubarb cut into ½-inch slices
- 1 cup sugar
- Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
- In a non-reactive, large saucepan off the heat, combine the rhubarb pieces with the sugar and toss or stir to combine. While still off the heat, let the pan sit for about 15 minutes until the rhubarb begins to throw off liquid. Stir occasionally to help the rhubarb become wet.
- When the pan has developed some sugary rhubarb juice, place the pan on a medium-low heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the fruit becomes soft and falls apart, forming a jam-like consistency. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and transfer the compote to a bowl. Let cool.
The compote can be used either warm or cold. It can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Tip: For a more complex flavor you can add a tablespoon or two of ruby port or two teaspoons of an orange-flavored liquor such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau. Use less liqueur than port because the flavors are more concentrated.