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Fruit compote

Compote is simply whole chopped fruit cooked with water and sugar to a desired consistency, so you can easily customize this recipe according to whatever fruit is in season. I make compotes year-round, since they are my go-to for when fruit is getting just past its prime. Serve for breakfast over pancakes, for an afternoon snack with chia seeds and yogurt, or for dessert on a little cake or ice cream.



  • 1 vanilla bean (see substitutions)
  • 6 cups fruit, pitted and chopped if necessary (see substitutions)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Flavour variations - cinnamon spice:

  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Orange, ginger and anise:

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 slices fresh ginger (optional)


  1. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a knife and use the back of the knife to scrape out the vanilla seeds from the inside. Place the scraped seeds and pod in a large saucepot.
  2. Add the fruit, sugar, water, lemon juice, and any optional flavor variations and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the fruit softens to the desired consistency, eight to ten minutes. I like mine chunky and not too soupy so I tend to undercook my compotes.
  3. Remove from the heat.
  4. Remove the vanilla pod (wash it and use for another recipe, see tip) and remove and discard any other whole spices. Serve warm or cold.

Zero-waste tip:

  1. Vanilla beans aren’t exactly budget friendly, but neither is pure vanilla extract. The pods holding the vanilla seeds can be reused easily, making them worth it for me. Simply rinse the pod well with water, leave it to dry on the counter, and reuse. I like to add them to sugar or salt to make it vanilla flavored or even better, try making your own homemade vanilla extract.


  1. Fresh fruit with three cups dried fruit and increase the water to just enough cover the fruit, simmer for about 15 minutes or until the fruit is soft and the liquid is reduced to syrupy
  2. Vanilla bean with one tablespoon pure vanilla extract, added in step three.

Excerpted from Cook More, Waste Less by Christine Tizzard Copyright © 2021 Christine Tizzard. Photography © Reena Newman. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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