Spiced Poached & Stewed Strawberry Compote Recipe

Strawberry Compote is our favourite quick and easy dessert to make with wild berries in the summer.

Fresh strawberries are stewed and poached in a skillet on the stove then flavoured with cinnamon, cloves, white wine, dry sherry and Grand Marnier.

Serve this homemade spiced Strawberry Compote recipe on French Toast, pancakes, ice cream, or yogurt. You can prepare it as a chunky topping or smooth sauce.

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Save our Spiced Poached & Stewed Strawberry Compote recipe to Pinterest!
Save our Spiced Poached & Stewed Strawberry Compote recipe to Pinterest!

Homemade Strawberry Compote Ingredients

My family loves making this easy strawberry compote recipe during the summer months when fresh wild berries are in season across Ontario, especially in Norfolk County.

The simple and versatile dessert recipe can be made exclusively with strawberries or with a mixture of berries like raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

  • Butter: a small amount of butter is used in this recipe to give the compote syrup and sauce a velvety and creamy texture.
  • White Sugar: adds additional sweetness to your stewed strawberries.
  • Cloves & Cinnamon: flavours the compote with warming spices.
  • Dry Riesling White Wine: gives body and flavour to the compote syrup.
  • Dry Sherry: our favourite fortified wine.
  • Grand Marnier: an orange flavoured brandy liqueur.
  • Fresh Strawberries: only use fresh strawberries, preferably locally grown when in season during the summer. In a pinch you can use frozen strawberries.
Homemade Strawberry Compote recipe ingredients.
Homemade Strawberry Compote recipe ingredients.

What Is Poached, Stewed & Compote Fruit?

So what’s the difference between poached, stewed and compote fruit?

Fruit Compote is the name of a particular dish, while poaching and stewing are terms used to describe the desserts required cooking method.

  • Fruit Compote: compote or compôte is a dessert originating from medieval Europe, made of whole or pieces of fruit cooked in sugar syrup. Whole fruits are cooked in water with sugar and spices. It can be enjoyed warm or cold.
  • Poaching: poaching fruit by simmering it in a flavoured syrup deepens its flavour, softens its flesh, and gives it a shiny, almost translucent appearance. The sugar in a poaching syrup penetrates the fruit and keeps it firm during and after cooking.
  • Stewing: is similar to poaching in that it is defined as, “boiling slowly or with simmering heat.” You can use the terms stewed fruit and poached fruit interchangeably.

What Is The Difference Between Compote and Jam?

Compote and jam are two different products made from similar ingredients.

Compotes have bigger pieces of fruit in them, and smaller berries can and be kept whole, whereas jam has smaller pieces of fruit, sometimes even pureed. Compotes are not canned and have less sugar than jam.

What Is The Difference Between Coulis and Compote?

A coulis is smooth fruit puree that is sometimes strained, while a compote is usually pieces of fruit in a sugary syrup like sauce.

How Do You Thicken Compote?

A cornstarch slurry is a quick and easy way to thicken a compote. Add the slurry to the compote along with the other ingredients before cooking. This will allow to the slurry to slowly thicken the compote as it cooks.

Poached strawberries are cooked in a skillet with spices like cinnamon.
Poached strawberries are cooked in a skillet with spices like cinnamon.

History Of Fruit Compote

Compote conformed to the medieval belief that fruit cooked in sugar syrup balanced the effects of humidity on the body. The name is derived from the Latin word compositus, meaning mixture.

In late medieval England it was served at the beginning of the last course of a feast, often accompanied by a creamy potage. During the Renaissance, it was served chilled at the end of dinner.

Because it was easy to prepare, made from inexpensive ingredients and contained no dairy products, compote became a staple of Jewish households throughout Europe. In modern French, the term refers to usually unsweetened fruit purée without fruit chunks, such as applesauce.

Today, it is widespread and often served in lieu of vegetables in Northern European countries such as GermanyThe NetherlandsBelgium, in Scandinavia and France.

Dried fruit is often used for compote by cultures from Eastern Europe, and its syrup is also drunk as a beverage. Both are called kompot.

You May Also Enjoy These Fruit Compote Recipes…

Stew Strawberry Compote until the fruit is fork tender and the syrup has thickened.
Stew Strawberry Compote until the fruit is fork tender and the syrup has thickened.

Strawberry Compote Cooking Tips

  • Select fresh wild strawberries as they’re sweeter and take less time to cook. We like to stew the berries whole but you can also slice them if you prefer.
  • In a pinch you can use frozen strawberries to make compote.
  • Instead of white sugar, try using brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey.
  • Taste your compote before removing it from the stove. Gradually add more sugar to taste.
  • Strawberry compote will thicken more as it cools.
  • Don’t overcook stewed or poached strawberries or you’ll produce a thick jam.
Spiced Strawberry Compote Recipe Photo Image.
Spiced Strawberry Compote Recipe Photo Image.

Strawberry Compote Serving Suggestions

You can serve homemade fruit compote warm, at room temperature or chilled.

You can enjoy it all on its own served in a small bowl with a spoon.

Since our recipe is boozy, you can use the syrup and stewed strawberries as a sweetener and flavour when making craft cocktails.

At brunch serve compote with French Toast, Pancakes, Waffles, yogurt parfait, oatmeal or in a healthy smoothie.

For dessert we love serving the syrup sauce and tender fruit with ice cream, cakes, pudding or in a milkshake.

We particularly love serving strawberry compote with freshly baked scones and whipped cream as a play on the classic Strawberry Shortcake. You can also serve the syrupy fruit over a cheesecake.

Strawberry Compote is best prepared during the summer wild berry season.
Strawberry Compote is best prepared during the summer wild berry season.

Variations & Special Diets

My family likes to make a chunky strawberry compote so we typically cook the fruit until fork tender.

The longer you stew or poach the berries in syrup the more they will break down. The texture of the strawberries is a preference and totally up to you. If you want the compote to have more of a thinned sauce consistency cook the ingredients for a few more minutes over the stove.

You can add poached strawberries to a blender to create a smooth sauce for sundaes or breakfast bowls.

Have fun with your spirit collection by making substitutions based on what’s available on your bar cart. You can substitue dry sherry for other fortified wines like marsala or sweet red vermouth. You can substitute Grand Marnier for Amaretto Disaronno.

Add balsamic vinegar for a tangy and sweet-tart edge.

Add lemon juice to tone down the sweetness of the berries.

If you want to make a kid-friendly non-alcoholic strawberry compote substitute the Grand Marnier, wine and dry sherry with strawberry juice or water. You will likely need to add additional sweetener so taste while you’re cooking.

Want to make vegan strawberry compote instead of this vegetarian recipe? Simply swap the butter for your favourite vegetable oil like canola or rapeseed.

Store homemade Strawberry Compote in a large jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Store homemade Strawberry Compote in a large jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Storing Strawberry Compote

This strawberry compote recipe is so delicious your family will likely finish eating it all in a day or two!

If you’re planning on double or tripling the recipe, store leftovers in a large jar at the back of your fridge for up to a week.

Compote can also be frozen and enjoyed once thawed.

You can not can or preserve strawberry compote and store it long term like you would a jam.

We love serving Stewed Strawberries as a chunky sauce with vanilla ice cream.
We love serving Stewed Strawberries as a chunky sauce with vanilla ice cream.

You May Also Like These Berry Recipes…

Now you're an expert on how to make the best Stewed Strawberry Compote recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the best Stewed Strawberry Compote recipe!

How To Make Homemade Strawberry Compote

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Poached & Stewed Strawberry Compote

How to make homemade Strawberry Compote. Our easy poached & stewed strawberries recipe is flavoured with spices, sherry, wine & Grand Marnier.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Poached Strawberries, Strawberry Compote
Servings: 8
Calories: 121kcal

Equipment

  • French knife
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • Wooden Spoon or or Spatula
  • Large Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 5 tbsp White Sugar
  • 3 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/2 cup Riesling White Wine
  • 5 cups Small Strawberries hulled
  • 1/4 cup Dry Sherry
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Instructions

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and melt, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and wine and cook at a simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Allow the liquid to cook until it is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the strawberries, sherry and Grand Marnier and cook, turning them once until they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Let cool and serve over ice cream or yogurt.

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.5g | Protein: 0.6g | Fat: 3.1g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 607mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 17.8g | Calcium: 15mg

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