• Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes + cooling
  • Difficulty: easy

A good fruit compote can completely transform an ordinary bowl of porridge. I like to make a sweet, sticky, spiced version using dried fruits simmered gently in chai tea and whole spices. The fruits infuse the tea with their natural sugars, turning it into a gorgeous warm, spiced, syrup.

 

You can use blood oranges in any recipe that calls for normal oranges, but this is one of my winter favourites. I find myself turning to porridge on a daily basis at this time of year, but it does sometimes have the effect of making you feel a little too like you’’re wrapped up in a giant fluffy duvet. Sometimes your porridge needs a little lift, something to wake you up in the morning and rejuvenate those tastebuds. Citrus is the perfect solution.

A good fruit compote can completely transform an ordinary bowl of porridge. I like to make a sweet, sticky, spiced version using dried fruits simmered gently in chai tea and whole spices. The fruits infuse the tea with their natural sugars, turning it into a gorgeous warm, spiced, syrup. They swell up in the liquid and the heat, becoming plump and jammy, the perfect complement to a creamy bowl of oats. It’’s all very sweet and sticky, though, so to give it a lift I stir in segments of blood orange. The deep citrus flavour combines perfectly with the fruit and spice, its juice infusing the sweet syrup.

This is a very versatile recipe. You can use any type of tea as the base (fruit or spiced tea works best), or if you want it even sweeter you can use orange, apple or cranberry juice. You can vary the spices, –vanilla and/or a cinnamon stick would also be delicious additions, or maybe some fat cardamom pods. You can also play around with the fruit, –dried figs or apple work well too, as do raisins and sultanas, or maybe dried cherries if you’’re feeling fancy. I like to halve some of the fruits and leave the rest whole, for a contrast in textures. You could also use clementine segments instead of blood orange, or grapefruit for extra tang.

 

here's what you'll need...

  • 1 litre water
  • 2 chai teabags (or fruit tea of your choice)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 200g dried apricots
  • 200g dried prunes
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 4 blood oranges

Blood Orange Compote Ingredients

 

tip

If you’’re not a porridge fan, you don’’t have to go down that route. This is also excellent over a bowl of muesli or granola, or simply served in a bowl with a dollop of greek yoghurt and maybe some chopped nuts.

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here's how it's done...

  • 1

    Put the water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the teabags and spices and simmer gently for a couple of minutes.

    compote step 1

  • 2

    Cut half the prunes and apricots in half (scissors are the easiest way to do this) and add to the tea along with the remaining fruit. Simmer, covered, over a gentle heat for about 20 minutes, until the fruit has plumped up and the liquid has turned syrupy. If it’’s still a bit watery, take the lid off and simmer a little longer to reduce. Similarly, if it’s too thick, add a little more water. Leave to cool.

    compote step 3

  • 3

    Cut both ends off the blood oranges then use a sharp serrated knife to slice away the skin and pith. Then slice between the membranes of the fruit to cut out all the individual segments, do this over a bowl to catch the juice.

    compote step 5

  • 4

    Squeeze the remaining pith into the bowl to get all the juice out.

    compote step 6

  • 5

    Mix the blood orange segments with the dried fruit compote, then serve at room temperature or chilled. It’’ll keep in the fridge for a week.

    compote post image 2

    If you’’re not a porridge fan, you don’’t have to go down that route. This is also excellent over a bowl of muesli or granola, or simply served in a bowl with a dollop of greek yoghurt and maybe some chopped nuts (pistachios or pecans… – mmmm). You could even have it with ice cream as a dessert. Whatever you do, you’’ll end up with a gorgeous warming blend of citrus and spice that will brighten up any winter day.

 

By Elly McCausland on 24.02.14

Guest Contributor

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